The survival of Vaucheria (Vaucheriaceae) propagules in desiccated New England riparian sediments

M.E. DUNPHY, D.C. McDEVIT, C.E. LANE and C.W. SCHNEIDER (2001)

Rhodora 103: 416-426

 


Abstract

Species of the algal genus Vaucheria routinely leave “seed banks” of propagules in riparian sediments for regrowth during optimal conditions in the habitat. Muds containing propagules were collected at different times of the year from four freshwater riparian habitats in central and eastern Connecticut, U.S.A., sites previously known to have as many as six Vaucheria species living sympatrically in the space of just 36 cm2 of floodplain sediment or stream bank. Muds from each site were allowed to thoroughly desiccate in the laboratory. Desiccated mud samples were rehydrated after prescribed periods of time, and then cultured under optimal conditions in an incubator. Eight freshwater species appeared variously in the cultures demonstrating a tolerance to desiccation of 63-383 da. with V. undulata, V. prona, and V. frigidasurviving the greatest periods of treatment.

 

Key words: Desiccation tolerance, propagules, riparian sediments, seed banks, Vaucheria, Vaucheriaceae

 


craig.schneider.1@mail.trincoll.edu