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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.


Acrylic disks on anchored structures at the IEAPM field laboratory.
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fig-6: Acrylic disks on anchored structures at the IEAPM field laboratory.

Mentions: Natural volumetric concentrations of P. dilatata crude extract were incorporated into phytagelâ„¢. The phytagel was prepared by adding and mixing 1.5 g of this gel to 35 ml of distilled water, and then poured inside the disk diffusion chambers. Only one side of the gel was exposed to currents so the diffusion rates of the crude extract into the water column were reduced, thereby simulating natural conditions of diffusion from living marine organisms (e.g., Da Gama et al., 2002). Control gels were prepared in the same way, but without the addition of extract. Experiments took place at the IEAPM field laboratory, where the 12 disks (6 disks per treatment) were randomly attached to an underwater structure at 5 m depth (Fig. 6).


Structuring effects of chemicals from the sea fan Phyllogorgia dilatata on benthic communities
Acrylic disks on anchored structures at the IEAPM field laboratory.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

fig-6: Acrylic disks on anchored structures at the IEAPM field laboratory.
Mentions: Natural volumetric concentrations of P. dilatata crude extract were incorporated into phytagelâ„¢. The phytagel was prepared by adding and mixing 1.5 g of this gel to 35 ml of distilled water, and then poured inside the disk diffusion chambers. Only one side of the gel was exposed to currents so the diffusion rates of the crude extract into the water column were reduced, thereby simulating natural conditions of diffusion from living marine organisms (e.g., Da Gama et al., 2002). Control gels were prepared in the same way, but without the addition of extract. Experiments took place at the IEAPM field laboratory, where the 12 disks (6 disks per treatment) were randomly attached to an underwater structure at 5 m depth (Fig. 6).

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.