Consequences of light reduction for anti-herbivore defense and bioactivity against mussels in four seaweed species from northern-central Chile.

Pansch, Christian , Cerda, Osvaldo, Lenz, Mark, Wahl, Martin and Thiel, Martin (2009) Consequences of light reduction for anti-herbivore defense and bioactivity against mussels in four seaweed species from northern-central Chile. Open Access Marine Ecology Progress Series, 381 . pp. 83-97. DOI 10.3354/meps07943.

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Abstract

It is widely assumed that the production of secondary metabolites against grazing and fouling is costly for seaweeds in terms of metabolic energy and should therefore be reduced under conditions of resource limitation. Here we tested the hypothesis that anti-herbivore defenses and bioactivity against mussels in 4 brown seaweeds from northern-central Chile will be reduced when light is limited. In a 2 wk experiment, seaweeds were kept under different low-light conditions (~76 to 99% reduction of ambient sunlight) and grazing situations. Subsequently, we tested their anti-herbivore defense against a common amphipod grazer in feeding assays with living algal tissue and reconstituted food pellets. A standard test employing the production of byssus threads by mussels was furthermore used as an indicator for deterrents in crude algal extracts. All investigated seaweeds showed decreased growth under the stepwise light reduction. Lessonia nigrescens exhibited reduced defense ability under severe low-light conditions when living tissue was offered to the amphipod, probably caused by changes in the tissue structure or in nutritional traits. In Dictyota kunthii, L. trabeculata and Macrocystis integrifolia this effect was absent. None of the investigated seaweeds showed a clear effect of light reduction on chemically mediated defenses against the mesograzer and there was no effect of light limitation on the bioactivity against mussels. Thus, against general assumptions, chemical defense in the investigated seaweeds does not appear to be reduced under severe resource limitation. Results suggest that seaweeds may use different strategies of energy allocation to cope with low-light conditions.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000266150000007
Keywords: Benthic Ecology; Botany; Seaweeds; Macroalgae; Chemical defense; Light limitation; Herbivores; Fouling; KELP ECKLONIA-RADIATA; DIFFERENTIATION BALANCE HYPOTHESIS; PREY NUTRITIONAL QUALITY; MARINE BROWN-ALGAE; LESSONIA-NIGRESCENS; CHEMICAL DEFENSES; MACROCYSTIS-INTEGRIFOLIA; FOOD CHOICE; GIANT-KELP; MEMBRANIPORA-MEMBRANACEA
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/meps07943
ISSN: 0171-8630
Projects: GAME, Future Ocean, FONDECYT
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2009 13:46
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2018 09:43
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/2881

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