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  • 1.
    Eggertsen, M.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Sweden.
    Larsson, Josefine
    Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.
    Porseryd, Tove
    Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.
    Åkerlund, C.
    Stockholm University, Sweden.
    Chacin, D. H.
    University of South Florida, USA.
    Berkström, C.
    Stockholm University, Sweden; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
    Jiddawi, N.
    Institute of Fisheries Research, Tanzania.
    Kautsky, N.
    Stockholm University, Sweden.
    Halling, C.
    Stockholm University, Sweden.
    Coral-macroalgal interactions: Herbivory and substrate type influence growth of the macroalgae Eucheuma denticulatum (NL Burman) Collins & Hervey, 1917 on a tropical coral reef2021In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, ISSN 0022-0981, E-ISSN 1879-1697, Vol. 542, article id 151606Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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  • 2.
    Ismail, R. O.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Sweden; University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
    Asplund, M. E.
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Gullström, Martin
    Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.
    George, R.
    Stockholm University, Sweden; Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI), Tanzania.
    Dahl, Martin
    Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.
    Buriyo, A. S.
    University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
    Mtolera, M. S. P.
    University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
    Björk, M.
    Stockholm University, Sweden.
    Effects of calcification on air-water CO2 fluxes in tropical seagrass meadows: A mesocosm experiment2023In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, ISSN 0022-0981, E-ISSN 1879-1697, Vol. 561, article id 151864Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Seagrass meadows deliver a range of ecosystem services, where one of the more important is the capacity to store carbon and serve as sinks for atmospheric carbon dioxide. The capacity of seagrass meadows for carbon storage might, however, be modified and complicated by several factors; one important factor is the possible effects of calcification within the meadows. In tropical areas, seagrass meadows can contain high proportions of calcareous organisms, which through their calcification may cause release of CO2. To study this aspect of the CO2 balance within tropical seagrass systems, we investigated the air-water CO2 flux in seagrass mesocosms with different plant community compositions, i.e. mixtures of seagrass and calcifying macroalgae, having similar overall photosynthetic oxygen evolution rates. The measured CO2 fluxes changed both in rate and direction over the day and were significantly related to plant community composition. Downward fluxes of CO2 were found only over vegetation with high proportion of seagrass and in the afternoon, whereas occurrence of calcifying algae appeared to reverse the flow. A partial least squares (PLS) regression model indicated that pH, pCO2 and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) were the primary environmental variables predicting the CO2 fluxes. Our findings show that algal calcification might partly counteract the carbon sequestration in seagrass meadows.

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