'Co-consumption' and 'protective coating': two new proposed effects of epiphytes on their macro algal hosts in mesograzer-epiphyte-host interactions.

Karez, Rolf, Engelbert, Silke and Sommer, Ulrich (2000) 'Co-consumption' and 'protective coating': two new proposed effects of epiphytes on their macro algal hosts in mesograzer-epiphyte-host interactions. Open Access Marine Ecology Progress Series, 205 . pp. 85-93. DOI 10.3354/meps205085.

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Abstract

Multiple-choice feeding experiments were performed with the isopod Idotea granulosa and the amphipod Gammarus locusta as consumers. In a first experiment, 2 different types of tissues of the brown seaweed Fucus vesiculosus and its main macroepiphytes, Ulva lactuca and Elachista fucicola, were offered. I. granulosa rejected apices of F. vesiculosus and preferred E. fucicola, while G. locusta clearly preferred F. vesiculosus tissue, especially the meristematic apices. In a second experiment, F. vesiculosus tissue with and without E. fucicola was offered together. For I. granulosa, the consumption of F. vesiculosus was enhanced by the presence of the epiphyte, while for G. locusta there was no difference in consumed F. vesiculosus mass. G. locusta, however, showed behavioural rejection of E. fucicola, and thus, the epiphyte acted as Œprotective coating¹. We conclude that host (F. vesiculosus) tissue could be Œco-consumed¹ by mesograzers (I. granulosa) that were attracted by the presence of epiphytes and that these epiphytes therefore may have a 2-fold negative effect on the host (i.e. competion for light, nutrients etc. and attraction of consumers). ŒCo-consumption¹ and Œprotective coating¹ add 2 more facets to the very variable and case-dependent interrelationships of mesograzer-epiphyte-host systems; their relevance in nature, however, remains to be demonstrated.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Herbivory; Feeding preference; Fucus; Crustacean grazers; Macroephiphytes; Multiple choice
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.3354/meps205085
ISSN: 0171-8630
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:24
Last Modified: 08 May 2018 13:47
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/805

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