Invasion success of the seaweed Gracilaria vermiculophylla correlates with low palatability.

Hammann, Mareike, Wang, G., Rickert, Esther, Boo, S. M. and Weinberger, Florian (2013) Invasion success of the seaweed Gracilaria vermiculophylla correlates with low palatability. Open Access Marine Ecology Progress Series, 486 . pp. 93-103. DOI 10.3354/meps10361.

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Differences with respect to anti-herbivore defense were investigated in invasive and native populations of the seaweed Gracilaria vermiculophylla. Specimens from 6 native populations in East Asia and from 8 populations invasive in Europe and the Mexican Pacific coast were maintained under identical conditions and offered to herbivorous snails from both the native range (Littorina brevicula) and Europe (L. littorea) in no-choice feeding assays. L. brevicula consumed in total significantly larger amounts of G. vermiculophylla tissue than did L. littorea. Further, both snail species least consumed the seaweed specimens originating from either non-native populations or from populations native to the Korean East Sea/Sea of Japan. The Korean East Sea/Sea of Japan had previously been identified as putative donor region of all the invasive populations of G. vermiculophylla. Thus, populations in the donor region as well as non-native populations in different invaded realms feature an increased capacity to resist feeding pressure. Differences in nutrient content did not account for the observed patterns of consumption, as palatability and carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio were not significantly correlated. Thus, mechanical or chemical defenses or the content of feeding cues influenced the behavior of the snails. We suggest that low palatability contributed to the invasion success of the species.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000321776600008
Keywords: Biological invasion; Invasive seaweeds; Enemy release hypothesis; Novel weapons hypothesis; Herbivory; Gracilaria vermiculophylla
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?: No
DOI etc.: 10.3354/meps10361
ISSN: 0171-8630
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2013 11:37
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2018 09:52

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