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Morphological and community changes of turf algae in competition with corals.

Cetz-Navarro NP, Quan-Young LI, Espinoza-Avalos J - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: Opposite responses in the space between erect axes were found when Psv competed with O. faveolata and when Lc competed with O. annularis.The specific and community responses indicate that some species of TA can actively colonise coral tissue and that fundamental competitive interactions between the two types of organisms occur within the first millimetres of the coral-algal boundary.These findings suggest that the morphological plasticity, high number, and functional redundancy of stoloniferous TA species favour their colonisation of coral tissue and resistance against coral invasion.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 1] ECOSUR, Avenida Centenario km 5.5, Colonia Pacto Obrero Campesino, Chetumal 77014, Quintana Roo, Mexico [2] Posgrado en Oceanografía Costera, Instituto de Investigaciones Oceanológicas-Facultad de Ciencias Marinas, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Apdo. Postal 453, km 103 Carretera Tijuana-Ensenada, Ensenada 22860, Baja California, Mexico.

ABSTRACT
The morphological plasticity and community responses of algae competing with corals have not been assessed. We evaluated eight morphological characters of four species of stoloniferous clonal filamentous turf algae (FTA), including Lophosiphonia cristata (Lc) and Polysiphonia scopulorum var. villum (Psv), and the composition and number of turf algae (TA) in competition for space with the coral Orbicella spp. under experimental and non-manipulated conditions. All FTA exhibited morphological responses, such as increasing the formation of new ramets (except for Psv when competing with O. faveolata). Opposite responses in the space between erect axes were found when Psv competed with O. faveolata and when Lc competed with O. annularis. The characters modified by each FTA species, and the number and composition of TA species growing next to coral tissue differed from that of the TA growing at ≥ 3 cm. The specific and community responses indicate that some species of TA can actively colonise coral tissue and that fundamental competitive interactions between the two types of organisms occur within the first millimetres of the coral-algal boundary. These findings suggest that the morphological plasticity, high number, and functional redundancy of stoloniferous TA species favour their colonisation of coral tissue and resistance against coral invasion.

No MeSH data available.


Study sites in the southern part of Quintana Roo, Mexico.The study sites are located in reef lagoon environments at Xcalak and Xahuayxol (black circles). This figure was made using GIS software (ArcView 3.3) and Adobe Illustrator CS4.
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f4: Study sites in the southern part of Quintana Roo, Mexico.The study sites are located in reef lagoon environments at Xcalak and Xahuayxol (black circles). This figure was made using GIS software (ArcView 3.3) and Adobe Illustrator CS4.

Mentions: The study was carried out at Xcalak (18°15′41.6”N, 87°49′30”W) and Xahuayxol (18°30′11.9”N, 87°45′24.8”W), in the southern part of Quintana Roo, Mexican Caribbean (Fig. 4). Both sites are located in reef lagoons (approximately 1.5 and 2 m deep, respectively) near the breaker zone, within a Marine Protected Area (National Park “Arrecifes de Xcalak”). The reef lagoon at both study sites has a predominantly sandy bottom with seagrass beds of Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme, macroalgae, Alcyonacea corals, and patches or aggregations of stony corals57. The Xcalak and Xahuayxol fringing reefs have similar average annual sea surface temperatures and salinities (27.80 °C and 27.81 ºC, and 35.79 and 35.78, respectively see58), low coral cover (8.7% and 11.7%, respectively59) in fore reefs (~10 m), and high algal cover (41%60 and 58%61, respectively). Orbicella is the most abundant coral genus (50% of relative abundance), followed by Diploria (12%), Siderastrea (11%), Porites (9%), Agaricia (5%), Montastraea (4%), Colpophyllia (4%) and Acropora (3%)5862. The coral species used for the experimental conditions (in Xcalak) and non-manipulated conditions (in Xahuayxol) were selected to better accomplish each objective of the study. At Xcalak, the morphological shape of the abundant coral Orbicella faveolata (frequently with relatively flat surfaces and large size, 2–3 m in diameter) facilitated the extraction of coral cores and to the reciprocal transplantations of live and dead (covered by TA) coral cores. At Xahuayxol, the dominant coral O. annularis, with individual lobules or ramets interacting with TA in a short perimeter of coral tissue (diameter ≥ 14 cm63), allowed us to collect TA from the whole periphery of ramets. The relative abundance of benthic algae at the Xcalak and Xahuayxol fore reefs was highest for turf algae (51% and 53%, respectively) in comparison to coralline algae and macroalgae (32% and 29%, and 16% and 18%, respectively59). The assemblages of TA at Xahuayxol were approximately 8 mm in height and included abundant sediment with grains of less than 0.3 mm. The assemblages at both sites were mainly composed of Polysiphonia spp., Lophosiphonia cristata, Parviphycus trinitatensis, Herposiphonia spp., Centroceras clavulatum, Amphiroa fragilissima, Jania spp., Ceramium spp., Padina sp., Lyngbya spp. and Dichothrix spp., while Bryobesia johannae and Anotrichium tenue were common at Xahuayxol but not at Xcalak, and Sphacelaria sp. was common at Xcalak but not at Xahuayxol2464.


Morphological and community changes of turf algae in competition with corals.

Cetz-Navarro NP, Quan-Young LI, Espinoza-Avalos J - Sci Rep (2015)

Study sites in the southern part of Quintana Roo, Mexico.The study sites are located in reef lagoon environments at Xcalak and Xahuayxol (black circles). This figure was made using GIS software (ArcView 3.3) and Adobe Illustrator CS4.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4525492&req=5

f4: Study sites in the southern part of Quintana Roo, Mexico.The study sites are located in reef lagoon environments at Xcalak and Xahuayxol (black circles). This figure was made using GIS software (ArcView 3.3) and Adobe Illustrator CS4.
Mentions: The study was carried out at Xcalak (18°15′41.6”N, 87°49′30”W) and Xahuayxol (18°30′11.9”N, 87°45′24.8”W), in the southern part of Quintana Roo, Mexican Caribbean (Fig. 4). Both sites are located in reef lagoons (approximately 1.5 and 2 m deep, respectively) near the breaker zone, within a Marine Protected Area (National Park “Arrecifes de Xcalak”). The reef lagoon at both study sites has a predominantly sandy bottom with seagrass beds of Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme, macroalgae, Alcyonacea corals, and patches or aggregations of stony corals57. The Xcalak and Xahuayxol fringing reefs have similar average annual sea surface temperatures and salinities (27.80 °C and 27.81 ºC, and 35.79 and 35.78, respectively see58), low coral cover (8.7% and 11.7%, respectively59) in fore reefs (~10 m), and high algal cover (41%60 and 58%61, respectively). Orbicella is the most abundant coral genus (50% of relative abundance), followed by Diploria (12%), Siderastrea (11%), Porites (9%), Agaricia (5%), Montastraea (4%), Colpophyllia (4%) and Acropora (3%)5862. The coral species used for the experimental conditions (in Xcalak) and non-manipulated conditions (in Xahuayxol) were selected to better accomplish each objective of the study. At Xcalak, the morphological shape of the abundant coral Orbicella faveolata (frequently with relatively flat surfaces and large size, 2–3 m in diameter) facilitated the extraction of coral cores and to the reciprocal transplantations of live and dead (covered by TA) coral cores. At Xahuayxol, the dominant coral O. annularis, with individual lobules or ramets interacting with TA in a short perimeter of coral tissue (diameter ≥ 14 cm63), allowed us to collect TA from the whole periphery of ramets. The relative abundance of benthic algae at the Xcalak and Xahuayxol fore reefs was highest for turf algae (51% and 53%, respectively) in comparison to coralline algae and macroalgae (32% and 29%, and 16% and 18%, respectively59). The assemblages of TA at Xahuayxol were approximately 8 mm in height and included abundant sediment with grains of less than 0.3 mm. The assemblages at both sites were mainly composed of Polysiphonia spp., Lophosiphonia cristata, Parviphycus trinitatensis, Herposiphonia spp., Centroceras clavulatum, Amphiroa fragilissima, Jania spp., Ceramium spp., Padina sp., Lyngbya spp. and Dichothrix spp., while Bryobesia johannae and Anotrichium tenue were common at Xahuayxol but not at Xcalak, and Sphacelaria sp. was common at Xcalak but not at Xahuayxol2464.

Bottom Line: Opposite responses in the space between erect axes were found when Psv competed with O. faveolata and when Lc competed with O. annularis.The specific and community responses indicate that some species of TA can actively colonise coral tissue and that fundamental competitive interactions between the two types of organisms occur within the first millimetres of the coral-algal boundary.These findings suggest that the morphological plasticity, high number, and functional redundancy of stoloniferous TA species favour their colonisation of coral tissue and resistance against coral invasion.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 1] ECOSUR, Avenida Centenario km 5.5, Colonia Pacto Obrero Campesino, Chetumal 77014, Quintana Roo, Mexico [2] Posgrado en Oceanografía Costera, Instituto de Investigaciones Oceanológicas-Facultad de Ciencias Marinas, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Apdo. Postal 453, km 103 Carretera Tijuana-Ensenada, Ensenada 22860, Baja California, Mexico.

ABSTRACT
The morphological plasticity and community responses of algae competing with corals have not been assessed. We evaluated eight morphological characters of four species of stoloniferous clonal filamentous turf algae (FTA), including Lophosiphonia cristata (Lc) and Polysiphonia scopulorum var. villum (Psv), and the composition and number of turf algae (TA) in competition for space with the coral Orbicella spp. under experimental and non-manipulated conditions. All FTA exhibited morphological responses, such as increasing the formation of new ramets (except for Psv when competing with O. faveolata). Opposite responses in the space between erect axes were found when Psv competed with O. faveolata and when Lc competed with O. annularis. The characters modified by each FTA species, and the number and composition of TA species growing next to coral tissue differed from that of the TA growing at ≥ 3 cm. The specific and community responses indicate that some species of TA can actively colonise coral tissue and that fundamental competitive interactions between the two types of organisms occur within the first millimetres of the coral-algal boundary. These findings suggest that the morphological plasticity, high number, and functional redundancy of stoloniferous TA species favour their colonisation of coral tissue and resistance against coral invasion.

No MeSH data available.