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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

© Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 2011, vol. 92, núm 1, p. 27–34

Author: Tomás, Fiona
Cebrian Pujol, Emma
Ballesteros i Segarra, 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
ISSN: 1096-0015 (versió electrònica)
0272-7714 (versió paper)
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/10256/7140
Language: eng
Collection: Reproducció digital del document publicat a: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2010.12.004
Articles publicats (D-CCAA)
info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/248252
Is part of: © Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 2011, vol. 92, núm 1, p. 27–34
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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