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Structuring effects of chemicals from the sea fan Phyllogorgia dilatata on benthic communities

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ABSTRACT

Despite advances in understanding the ecological functions of secondary metabolites from marine organisms, there has been little focus on the influence of chemically-defended species at the community level. Several compounds have been isolated from the gorgonian octocoral Phyllogorgia dilatata, a conspicuous species that forms dense canopies on rocky reefs of northern Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Manipulative experiments were performed to study: (1) the effects of live colonies of P. dilatata (physical presence and chemistry) on recruitment of sympatric benthic organisms; (2) the allelopathic effects of its chemicals on competitors; and (3) chemotactic responses of the non-indigenous brittle star, Ophiothela mirabilis. Early establishment of benthic species was influenced on substrates around live P. dilatata colonies and some effects could be attributed to the gorgonian’s secondary metabolites.In addition, the gorgonian chemicals also exerted an allelopathic effect on the sympatric zoanthid Palythoa caribaeorum, and positive chemotaxis upon O. mirabilis. These results indicate multiple ecological roles of a chemically-defended gorgonian on settlement, sympatric competitors, and non-indigenous species.

No MeSH data available.


Study sites.Upper arrow indicates the Prainha site. Lower arrow indicates IEAPM field laboratory.
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fig-1: Study sites.Upper arrow indicates the Prainha site. Lower arrow indicates IEAPM field laboratory.

Mentions: All fieldwork was carried out at Arraial do Cabo (22°58′35″S, 42°00′00″W), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Fig. 1). This area is well known for the occurrence of coastal upwelling and, therefore, harbors distinct reef assemblages. Some sites are currently protected under the status of an Extractivist Marine Reserve, but the local ecosystem is still threatened by illegal fishing and commercial ports.


Structuring effects of chemicals from the sea fan Phyllogorgia dilatata on benthic communities
Study sites.Upper arrow indicates the Prainha site. Lower arrow indicates IEAPM field laboratory.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5382925&req=5

fig-1: Study sites.Upper arrow indicates the Prainha site. Lower arrow indicates IEAPM field laboratory.
Mentions: All fieldwork was carried out at Arraial do Cabo (22°58′35″S, 42°00′00″W), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Fig. 1). This area is well known for the occurrence of coastal upwelling and, therefore, harbors distinct reef assemblages. Some sites are currently protected under the status of an Extractivist Marine Reserve, but the local ecosystem is still threatened by illegal fishing and commercial ports.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Despite advances in understanding the ecological functions of secondary metabolites from marine organisms, there has been little focus on the influence of chemically-defended species at the community level. Several compounds have been isolated from the gorgonian octocoral Phyllogorgia dilatata, a conspicuous species that forms dense canopies on rocky reefs of northern Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Manipulative experiments were performed to study: (1) the effects of live colonies of P. dilatata (physical presence and chemistry) on recruitment of sympatric benthic organisms; (2) the allelopathic effects of its chemicals on competitors; and (3) chemotactic responses of the non-indigenous brittle star, Ophiothela mirabilis. Early establishment of benthic species was influenced on substrates around live P. dilatata colonies and some effects could be attributed to the gorgonian’s secondary metabolites.In addition, the gorgonian chemicals also exerted an allelopathic effect on the sympatric zoanthid Palythoa caribaeorum, and positive chemotaxis upon O. mirabilis. These results indicate multiple ecological roles of a chemically-defended gorgonian on settlement, sympatric competitors, and non-indigenous species.

No MeSH data available.