Posidonia oceanica meadows are acknowledged as one of the most valuable ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea. P. oceanica has been historically described as a species typically growing on mobile substrates whose development requires precursor communities. Here we document for the first time the extensive presence of sticky hairs covering P. oceanica seedling roots. Adhesive root hairs allow the seedlings to firmly anchor torocky substrates with anchorage strength values up to 5.23 N, regardless of the presence of algal cover and to colonise bare rock without the need for precursor assemblages to facilitate settlement. Adhesive root hairs are a morphological trait common on plants living on rocks in high-energy habitats, such as the riverweed Podostemaceae and the seagrass Phyllospadix scouleri. The presence of adhesive root hairs in P. oceanica juveniles suggests a preference of this species for hard substrates. Such an daptation leads to hypothesize a new microsite driven bottleneck in P. oceanica seedling survival linked to substrate features. The mechanism described can favour plant establishment on rocky substrates, in contrast with traditional paradigms. This feature may have strongly influenced P. oceanica pattern of colonisation through sexual propagules in boththe past and present.
|Numero di pagine||6|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2015|
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