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Coral-macroalgal interactions: Herbivory and substrate type influence growth of the macroalgae Eucheuma denticulatum (NL Burman) Collins & Hervey, 1917 on a tropical coral reef
Stockholm University, Sweden.
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3667-3667
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7239-7121
Stockholm University, Sweden.
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2021 (English)In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, ISSN 0022-0981, E-ISSN 1879-1697, Vol. 542, article id 151606Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduced macroalgae becoming invasive may alter ecological functions and habitats in recipient ecosystems. In the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), non-native strains of the native macroalgae Eucheuma denticulatum were introduced for farming practices and consequently spread into the surrounding seascape. We investigated potential effects of non-native and native strains of this macroalgae on a branching coral. We conducted a four-factor field experiment where we examined growth and holdfast development of introduced and native E. denticulatum on live and dead branches of Acropora sp. in the presence and absence of herbivores in Unguja Island, Zanzibar. Moreover, we estimated coral and macroalgae condition by visual examinations, gene expression analyses, and photosynthetic measurements. Macroalgae did not attach to any live coral and coral condition was not impacted by the presence of E. denticulatum, regardless of geographical origin. Instead, necrotic tissue on the macroalgae in areas of direct contact with corals indicated damage inflicted by the coral. The biomass of E. denticulatum did not differ between the replicates attached to live or dead corals in the experiment, yet biomass was strongly influenced by herbivory and replicates without protection from herbivores had a significantly lower biomass. In the absence of herbivory, introduced E. denticulatum had significantly higher growth rates than native algae based on wet weight measurements. These results contribute to an increased understanding of environmental effects by the farming of a non-native strain of algae on corals and stresses the importance to maintain viable populations of macroalgal feeding fishes in such areas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2021. Vol. 542, article id 151606
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-46321DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2021.151606ISI: 000687854700009Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85109542670OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-46321DiVA, id: diva2:1590381
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2014-3264Swedish Research Council, 2015-05848Swedish Research Council, E0344801
Note

This work was supported by Albert & Maria Bergström's Foundation and the Swedish Research Council [grant numbers 2014-3264, 2015-05848 and E0344801].

Available from: 2021-09-02 Created: 2021-09-02 Last updated: 2022-11-03Bibliographically approved

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Larsson, JosefinePorseryd, Tove

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CiteExportLink to record
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