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Abstract Detail

Phycological Section

Erickson, Amy Anne [1], Paul, Valerie [2], Kwiatkowski, Lisa [2], Becerro, Mikel [3].

Rhizophytic green algal extracts differentially affect feeding by sea urchin species.

Rhizophytic green algae comprise an important, natural component of rocky and coral reefs throughout Florida and the Caribbean. This experimental study examined whether crude algal extracts of these species differentially affect feeding by the common herbivorous sea urchins, Diadema antillarum, Echinometra viridis, and E. lucunter. To test for susceptibility to chemical defenses, we incorporated crude algal extracts into agar-based artificial food that was then fed to sea urchins. Algal extracts negatively affected feeding by D. antillarum more than both Echinometra spp. The amount of artificial food with extracts consumed by D. antillarum was five times less than that consumed by Echinometra spp. E. viridis, E. lucunter, and D. antillarum were deterred by extracts from 10, 33, and 56% of algal species tested, respectively. Some algal extracts even stimulated feeding by Echinometra spp. compared to D. antillarum. Differential effects of algal extracts may relate to lower mobility of Echinometra spp. relative to D. antillarum, where Echinometra spp. may select for decreased susceptibility to defenses due to lower food availability. While the algae tested in this study are naturally found on reefs, some of these species have been implicated in algal blooms, which have the potential to influence community structure and ecosystem function. Gaining a greater understanding of how crude algal extracts affect marine herbivores should increase predictive power when trying to determine the effects of increasing algal dominance on reefs.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Louisiana State University Shreveport, Biological Sciences, One University Place, Shreveport, LA, 71115, USA
2 - Smithsonian Marine Station, 701 Seaway Dr. , Fort Pierce, FL, 34949, USA
3 - Natural Products and Agrobiology Institute (IPNA-CSIC), The bites lab, La Laguna, Tenerife, 38206, Spain

chemical defenses
rhizophytic green algae

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PPC003
Abstract ID:594
Candidate for Awards:None

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