Ecology of the benthic mucilage-forming microalga Chrysophaeum taylorii in the W Mediterranean Sea: substratum and depth preferences

Caronni, Sarah, Bresciani, Alessia, Delaria, Maria Anna, Meloni, Federico, Navone, Augusto, Panzalis, Pieraugusto, Heimann, Kirsten, and Ceccherelli, Giulia (2015) Ecology of the benthic mucilage-forming microalga Chrysophaeum taylorii in the W Mediterranean Sea: substratum and depth preferences. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science , 161. pp. 38-45.

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Chrysophaeum taylorii Lewis and Bryan (Pelagophyceae) is an allochthonous benthic microalga recently recorded in the Mediterranean Sea where it is spreading quickly. Although this species secretes mucilage which is seriously affecting marine communities, it has been scarcely studied and no information on its ecology is available yet. We present the results of a five year study aimed to increase knowledge on substratum and depth preferences of this bloom-forming microalga with special emphasis on its colonisation efficiency.

Three separate field experiments established that cell abundances of Chrysophaeum taylorii were significantly lower on macroalgae, mollusc shells and sand than on hard granitic substrata, where the microalga settled efficiently and proliferated immediately independently of the colonisation level of the substratum (bare vs colonised) and the substratum stability (mobility) (cobbles vs rocks). Furthermore, C. taylorii abundance (density) decreased with depth >2 m, showing it prefers shallow waters in which it is able to resist to high light intensities.

These results offer some important insights into the ecology of this bloom-forming microalga that will contribute to the planning of future research and strategies for management of bloom events.

Item ID: 39179
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1096-0015
Keywords: benthic microalgae; Chrysophaeum taylorii; depth preference; Mediterranean Sea; settlement dynamics; substratum preference
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2015 22:49
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060701 Phycology (incl Marine Grasses) @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960412 Control of Plant Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 50%
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