An assessment of hydrogen sulfide intrusion in the seagrass Halodule wrightii




Rubiano-Rincon, Sebastian
Larkin, Patrick


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Hydrogen sulfide (H2S, “sulfide”) is a naturally occurring component of the marine sediment. Eutrophi cation of coastal waters, however, can lead to an excess of sulfide production that can prove toxic to seagrasses. We used stable sulfur isotope ratio (δ34S) measurements to assess sulfide intrusion in the seagrass Halodule wrightii, a semi-tropical species found throughout the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and both western and eastern Atlantic coasts. We found a gradient in δ34S values ( 5.58 0.54‰þ 13.58 0.30‰) from roots to leaves, in accordance with prior observations and those from other species. The results may also represent the first values reported for H. wrightii rhizome tissue. The presence of sulfide-derived sulfur in varying proportions (15–55%) among leaf, rhizome, and root tissues suggests H. wrightii is able to assimilate sedimentary H2S into non-toxic forms that constitute a significant portion of the plant’s total sulfur content.



intrusion, seagrass, sulfide, sulfur


This research was supported by a Graduate Research Award from the Texas Sea Grant program, a Hans and Patricia Suter Endowment Award from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and by the Welch Foundation.


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Rubiano-Rincon, S., & Larkin, P. (2022). An assessment of hydrogen sulfide intrusion in the seagrass Halodule wrightii. Experimental Results, 3, E17. doi:10.1017/exp.2022.15