Faculty Advisor

Jason Bystriansky and Kyle Grice


Seagrasses are identified as a sentinel species: a good indicator of overall marine ecosystem health and function. At the rhizome, they are known to interact with marine bacteria by exchanging energy in the form of glucose and free amino acids secreted through root exudate in exchange for microbe-fixated nitrogen that can be utilized for plant growth. To analyze potential outcomes of possible future changes in light availability, an experiment was designed to collect and analyze the root exudate of Cymodocea nodosa under three light conditions (standard fluorescent light, blue LED, and green LED light). After 72 hours of treatment, the root exudate was examined for glucose, nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia concentrations via spectrophotometry, while respiration was measured utilizing oxygen respirometry. No differences were observed for glucose, free amino acid content, nitrite, or ammonia. The standard fluorescent lightning yielded a significant increase in respiration of C.nodosa. Nitrate displayed a significant increase in both blue and green LED lightning. Due to the shortened experimental time frame it is concluded that a more significant effect could be observed if exudate is studied longitudinally.