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The crustose coralline alga, Phymatolithon Foslie, inhibits the overgrowth of seaweeds without relying on herbivores


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Johnson, CR and Mann, KH (1986) The crustose coralline alga, Phymatolithon Foslie, inhibits the overgrowth of seaweeds without relying on herbivores. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 96 (2). pp. 127-146. ISSN 0022-0981

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When surfaces of boulders covered with Phymatolithon Foslie were compared with boulders of bare granite in a grazer removal experiment, the biomass of recruited fleshy algae was significantly lower on the Phymatolithon, being on average less than half that on the granite. The inhibitory effect was not species specific; the species composition and species diversity on the two substrata were similar. S.E.M. studies indicated that the surface of Phytomatolithon is unstable in that epithallial cells slough off frequently. There are also numerous chalky white scales on the crust surface, up to ~1 mm diameter and 10-15 cells thick, that are easily dislodged. We suggest that, although the possibility of chemical inhibition cannot be ruled out, the instability of the surface crust contributes significantly to inhibition of algal settlement on Phytomatolithon. There was no evidence of dieback of Phymatolithon crusts during the 16 months of the experiment.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: coralline alga; epithallial sloughing; antifouling effect; seaweed recruitment; grazer dependence; Phymatolithon
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Page Range: pp. 127-146
ISSN: 0022-0981
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1016/0022-0981(86)90238-8
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:18
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