Data from: A three-stage symbiosis forms the foundation of seagrass ecosystems

Tjisse Van Der Heide, Laura L. Govers, Jimmy De Fouw, Han Olff, Matthijs Van Der Geest, Marieke M. Van Katwijk, Theunis Piersma, Johan Van De Koppel, Brian R. Silliman, Alfons J. P. Smolders & Jan A. Van Gils
Seagrasses evolved from terrestrial plants into marine foundation species around 100 million years ago. Their ecological success, however, remains a mystery because natural organic matter accumulation within the beds should result in toxic sediment sulfide levels. Using a meta-analysis, a field study, and a laboratory experiment, we reveal how an ancient three-stage symbiosis between seagrass, lucinid bivalves, and their sulfide-oxidizing gill bacteria reduces sulfide stress for seagrasses. We found that the bivalve–sulfide-oxidizer symbiosis reduced sulfide...
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