Effects of irradiance and temperature on the photosynthesis and vegetative propagation of Caulerpa serrulata.
The photosynthetic oxygen evolution of Caulerpa serrulata was determined with oxygen electrodes. The effects of light and temperature on the growth and regeneration of fragmented C. serrulata thalli were analyzed. The regenerating rate and establishment of different sizes and portions of C. serrulata were studied. The results showed that the light saturation point of C. serrulata was 200 µmol photons/m2 per s and the optimum growth temperature was 25-30°C. Under these conditions, the maximum photosynthetic oxygen evolution rate was 15.1±0.29 mg O2/mg Chl a/h, the growth rate and elongation rate reached the highest values, 4.67±0.09 mg FW/d and 0.78±0.01 mm/d, respectively. The fragmented C. serrulata thalli was regenerated at 20-35°C and survived at 15°C and 200 µmol photons/m2 per s. A different survival rate was detected according to fragment size. All of these results indicated that C. serrulata was a candidate to become an invasive species if introduced into a new place. Therefore, we should pay more attention to C. serrulata for its potential threat to marine ecosystem when it is sold for aquarium use.