Microspatial variation in marine biofilm abundance on intertidal rock surfaces

Hutchinson, Neil, Nagarkar, Sanjay, Aitchison, Jonathan C., and Williams, Gray A. (2006) Microspatial variation in marine biofilm abundance on intertidal rock surfaces. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 42 (2). pp. 187-197.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Download (217kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/ame042187


The effect of substrate surface roughness on small-scale patchiness and the ability of molluscan grazers to feed on intertidal biofilms was examined in a factorial experiment. Granite slabs were treated to create 4 different levels of surface roughness, and biofilm and macroalgae were allowed to recruit. Biofilm cover varied greatly with slab roughness, and was spatially patchy at a scale of millimetres. Diatoms dominated the biofilm, but were less abundant on surfaces with the smallest pits. Cover of diatoms and cyanobacteria was affected by surface roughness, with increased abundance around surface features. Different species of grazer varied in their success at removing certain diatoms and cyanobacteria from slabs of varying roughness, due to either the morphology of the different food types or grazer radula structure. Cover of macroalgal species on the slabs of different roughness also varied, and one species, Hypnea sp., did not recruit on smooth slabs. Rock roughness, therefore, affects both the biofilm and algal species that recruit and their abundance. Grazers were able to remove algae from slabs of all roughness with no apparent species-specific differences in their ability. However, grazer species appear to be more or less efficient at feeding according to the level of roughness, and this combination of variation in rock roughness and grazer efficiency may explain the observed small-scale patchiness on rocky shores in Hong Kong.

Item ID: 45433
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1616-1564
Additional Information:

Inter-Research Science Center makes the archives of its journals available as a service to the scientific community. All articles published 5 years ago or more may be accessed freely.

Funders: University of Hong Kong
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2016 03:40
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 178
Last 12 Months: 6
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page