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Differential herbivory of invasive algae by native fish in the Mediterranean Sea

The potential role of generalist herbivores to serve as a source of biotic resistance against algal invasion in marine ecosystems has been poorly examined. The present study investigates the capacity of Mediterranean herbivorous fishes to consume three of the most invasive seaweeds of the Western Mediterranean (Caulerpa racemosa, Lophocladia lallemandii and Womersleyella setacea) and examines vertical and temporal variations of such consumption. Our results show that although fish feed throughout the depth gradient examined (5–35 m), they concentrate in shallow waters, and can consume high amounts of C. racemosa. Such high ingestion of C. racemosa does not appear to be random, since this alga is consistently chosen when offered in pairs with several native species. Conversely, L. lallemandii and W. setacea are barely eaten by fish even though they can be very abundant in the field throughout the year. Our results suggest that fish could be an important controlling agent that has been overlooked in temperate marine invasions, and they may be able to provide certain resistance to C. racemosa invasion. In contrast, they are unlikely to exert any important control effects on L. lallemandii or W. setacea

Author: Tomàs Nash, Fiona
Cebrian Pujol, Emma
Ballesteros i Sagarra, Enric
Date: 2011
Abstract: The potential role of generalist herbivores to serve as a source of biotic resistance against algal invasion in marine ecosystems has been poorly examined. The present study investigates the capacity of Mediterranean herbivorous fishes to consume three of the most invasive seaweeds of the Western Mediterranean (Caulerpa racemosa, Lophocladia lallemandii and Womersleyella setacea) and examines vertical and temporal variations of such consumption. Our results show that although fish feed throughout the depth gradient examined (5–35 m), they concentrate in shallow waters, and can consume high amounts of C. racemosa. Such high ingestion of C. racemosa does not appear to be random, since this alga is consistently chosen when offered in pairs with several native species. Conversely, L. lallemandii and W. setacea are barely eaten by fish even though they can be very abundant in the field throughout the year. Our results suggest that fish could be an important controlling agent that has been overlooked in temperate marine invasions, and they may be able to provide certain resistance to C. racemosa invasion. In contrast, they are unlikely to exert any important control effects on L. lallemandii or W. setacea
Format: application/pdf
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/10256/7140
Language: eng
Collection: info:eu-repo/semantics/altIdentifier/doi/10.1016/j.ecss.2010.12.004
info:eu-repo/semantics/altIdentifier/issn/0272-7714
info:eu-repo/semantics/altIdentifier/eissn/1096-0015
info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/248252/EU/Effects of global warming and alien species invasions on high diverse communities of NW Mediterranean Sea./CORALCHANGE
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Subject: Invasions biològiques -- Mediterrània, Mar
Plantes invasores -- Mediterrània, Mar
Algues marines -- Mediterrània, Mar
Invasive plants -- Mediterranean Sea
Biological invasions -- Mediterranean Sea
Marine algae -- Mediterrània, Mar
Title: Differential herbivory of invasive algae by native fish in the Mediterranean Sea
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repository: DUGiDocs

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