Testing for the induction of anti-herbivory defences in four Portuguese macroalgae by direct and water-borne cues of grazing amphipods.

Yun, H. Y., Cruz, J., Treitschke, M., Wahl, Martin and Molis, M. (2007) Testing for the induction of anti-herbivory defences in four Portuguese macroalgae by direct and water-borne cues of grazing amphipods. Open Access Helgoland Marine Research, 61 (3). pp. 203-209. DOI 10.1007/s10152-007-0067-6.

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Herbivory is a key factor in regulating plant biomass, thereby driving ecosystem performance. Algae have developed multiple adaptations to cope with grazers, including morphological and chemical defences. In a series of experiments we investigated whether several species of macroalgae possess anti-herbivore defences and whether these could be regulated to demand, i.e. grazing events. The potential of direct grazing on defence induction was assessed for two brown (Dictyopteris membranacea, Fucus vesiculosus) and two red seaweeds (Gelidium sesquipedale, Sphaerococcus coronopifolius) from São Rafael and Ria Formosa, Portugal. Bioassays conducted with live algal pieces and agar-based food containing lipophilic algal extracts were used to detect changes in palatability after exposure to amphipod attacks (=treatment phase). Fucus vesiculosus was the only species significantly reducing palatability in response to direct amphipod-attacks. This pattern was observed in live F. vesiculosus pieces and agar-based food containing a lipophilic extract, suggesting that lipophilic compounds produced during the treatment phase were responsible for the repulsion of grazers. Water-borne cues of grazed F. vesiculosus as well as non-grazing amphipods also reduced palatability of neighbouring conspecifics. However, this effect was only observed in live tissues of F. vesiculosus. This study is the first to show that amphipods, like isopods, are capable to induce anti-herbivory defences in F. vesiculosus and that a seasonally variable effectiveness of chemical defences might serve as a dynamic control in alga–herbivore interactions.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Benthic Ecology; Amphipods - Anti-herbivory response - Induction - Macroalga-grazer interaction - Portugal - Seaweeds
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-B Experimental Ecology - Benthic Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s10152-007-0067-6
ISSN: 1438-387X
Projects: GAME, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2008 16:51
Last Modified: 28 May 2018 09:37
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/1618

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