Seagrass leaf element content: A global overview

J.A. Vonk*, Fee O.H. Smulders, Marjolijn J.A. Christianen, Laura L. Govers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Knowledge on the role of seagrass leaf elements and in particular micronutrients and their ranges is limited. We present a global database, consisting of 1126 unique leaf values for ten elements, obtained from literature and unpublished data, spanning 25 different seagrass species from 28 countries. The overall order of average element values in seagrass leaves was Na. >. K. >. Ca. >. Mg. >. S. >. Fe. >. Al. >. Si. >. Mn. >. Zn. Although we observed differences in leaf element content between seagrass families, high intraspecific variation indicated that leaf element content was more strongly determined by environmental factors than by evolutionary history. Early successional species had high leaf Al and Fe content. In addition, seagrass leaf element content also showed correlations with macronutrients (N and P), indicating that productivity also depends on other elements. Expected genomes of additional seagrass species in combination with experiments manipulating (micro)nutrients and environmental drivers might enable us to unravel the importance of various elements to sustain productive and flourishing meadows.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-133
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Early online date3 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • Environmental adaptation
  • Evolutionary history
  • Micronutrients
  • Plant physiology
  • Seagrass
  • Successional stage


Dive into the research topics of 'Seagrass leaf element content: A global overview'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this