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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.


Disk-shaped acrylic panel with a coaxial diffusion chamber containing phytagel™ designed for the recruitment experiment.
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fig-5: Disk-shaped acrylic panel with a coaxial diffusion chamber containing phytagel™ designed for the recruitment experiment.

Mentions: We designed an experimental unit that consisted of an acrylic disk bearing a round diffusion chamber in the center (viz. (Engel & Pawlik, 2000) to specifically investigate the influence of the gorgonian crude extract on recruitment of other benthic organisms. The disks were colorless and made of a hard, laser-cut and inert material to ensure the replicates were identical in size, appearance and texture and to avoid any interference with settlement cues other than the sea fan extract. Disks were 25 cm in diameter and 1 cm thick, and the diffusion chambers were 5 cm in diameter and coaxial with the acrylic disk (Fig. 5).


Structuring effects of chemicals from the sea fan Phyllogorgia dilatata on benthic communities
Disk-shaped acrylic panel with a coaxial diffusion chamber containing phytagel™ designed for the recruitment experiment.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

fig-5: Disk-shaped acrylic panel with a coaxial diffusion chamber containing phytagel™ designed for the recruitment experiment.
Mentions: We designed an experimental unit that consisted of an acrylic disk bearing a round diffusion chamber in the center (viz. (Engel & Pawlik, 2000) to specifically investigate the influence of the gorgonian crude extract on recruitment of other benthic organisms. The disks were colorless and made of a hard, laser-cut and inert material to ensure the replicates were identical in size, appearance and texture and to avoid any interference with settlement cues other than the sea fan extract. Disks were 25 cm in diameter and 1 cm thick, and the diffusion chambers were 5 cm in diameter and coaxial with the acrylic disk (Fig. 5).

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.