The effect of parameter variability in the allometric projection of leaf growth rates for eelgrass (Zostera marina L.)
Restoration of eelgrass Zostera marina meadows from harmful anthropogenic influences has made it essential to evaluate these efforts by using non-destructive assessments. Allometric methods provide a convenient framework for the derivation of reliable indirect assessments of leaf biomass and leaf growth of eelgrass. Invariance of the involved parameters could grant truly nondestructive assessments because previously fitted values could be used to produce consistent estimations. In order to explore this property we analyzed data from two natural eelgrass populations in the East Pacific (México), as well as populations in the West Pacific (two natural in Korea and one mesocosm in Japan). When we compared observed leaf growth rates with those projected allometrically by using parameter values fitted at different sites, we found that only parameter values fitted at sites within the same geographical region can produce consistent results. Therefore if this restriction holds previously fitted parameters can indeed be used to produce reliable non-destructive assessments of eelgrass leaf growth rates.