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When descriptive ecology meets physiology: a study in a South Atlantic rhodolith bed

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 April 2020

V. F. Carvalho
Affiliation:
Departamento de Botânica, CCB, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), 88010-970 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
J. Silva
Affiliation:
CCMar – Centre of Marine Sciences, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139Faro, Portugal
R. Kerr
Affiliation:
Laboratório de Estudos dos Oceanos e Clima (LEOC), Instituto de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG), 96203-900, Rio Grande, RS, Brazil
A. B. Anderson
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Ichthyology – Departamento de Oceanografia e Ecologia, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Av. Fernando Ferrari, 514, Goiabeiras, 29075-910, Vitória, ES, Brazil
E. O. Bastos
Affiliation:
Departamento de Botânica, CCB, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), 88010-970 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
D. Cabral
Affiliation:
Departamento de Botânica, CCB, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), 88010-970 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
L. P. Gouvêa
Affiliation:
Departamento de Botânica, CCB, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), 88010-970 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
L. Peres
Affiliation:
Departamento de Botânica, CCB, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), 88010-970 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
C. D. L. Martins
Affiliation:
Departamento de Botânica, CCB, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), 88010-970 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
V. M. Silveira-Andrade
Affiliation:
Departamento de Botânica, CCB, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), 88010-970 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
M. N. Sissini
Affiliation:
Departamento de Botânica, CCB, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), 88010-970 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
P. H. Horta
Affiliation:
Departamento de Botânica, CCB, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), 88010-970 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

This study presents two years of characterization of a warm temperate rhodolith bed in order to analyse how certain environmental changes influence the community ecology. The biomass of rhodoliths and associated species were analysed during this period and in situ experiments were conducted to evaluate the primary production, calcification and respiration of the dominant species of rhodoliths and epiphytes. The highest total biomass of rhodoliths occurred during austral winter. Lithothamnion crispatum was the most abundant rhodolith species in austral summer. Epiphytic macroalgae occurred only in January 2015, with Padina gymnospora being the most abundant. Considering associated fauna, the biomass of Mollusca increased from February 2015 to February 2016. Population densities of key reef fish species inside and around the rhodolith beds showed significant variations in time. The densities of grouper (carnivores/piscivores) increased in time, especially from 2015 to 2016. On the other hand, grunts (macroinvertebrate feeders) had a modest decrease over time (from 2014 to 2016). Other parameters such as primary production and calcification of L. crispatum were higher under enhanced irradiance, yet decreased in the presence of P. gymnospora. Community structure and physiological responses can be explained by the interaction of abiotic and biotic factors, which are driven by environmental changes over time. Biomass changes can indicate that herbivores play a role in limiting the growth of epiphytes, and this is beneficial to the rhodoliths because it decreases competition for environmental resources with fleshy algae.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2020

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When descriptive ecology meets physiology: a study in a South Atlantic rhodolith bed
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