Effects of competition and herbivory on interactions between a hard coral and a brown alga

Effects of competition and herbivory on interactions between a hard coral and a brown alga Despite widespread acceptance of the negative effects of macroalgae on corals, very few studies have experimentally tested the competitive nature of the interaction, and most have ignored the potential effects of corals on algae. We report the effects of herbivory and competition on the growth of the branching scleractinian coral Porites cylindrica Dana and the creeping foliose brown alga Lobophora variegata (Lamouroux) Womersley, on an inshore fringing reef of the central Great Barrier Reef. L. variegata overgrows branches of P. cylindrica from the base up, forming a distinct boundary between the alga and the coral tissue. The experiment used exclusion cages to test for effects of herbivores, and removal of algae and coral tissue, at their interaction boundary, to test for inhibition of the competitors by each other. Comparisons of coral branches with the algae present or removed showed that the presence and overgrowth of the alga caused significant coral tissue mortality. Comparisons of branches with coral tissue unmanipulated or damaged showed that the coral inhibited the overgrowth by L. variegata , but that the algae were markedly superior competitors. Importantly, reduced herbivory resulted in faster algal growth and consequent overgrowth and mortality of coral tissue, demonstrating the critical importance of herbivory to the outcome of the competitive interaction. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Elsevier

Effects of competition and herbivory on interactions between a hard coral and a brown alga

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/effects-of-competition-and-herbivory-on-interactions-between-a-hard-00FD67xwPU
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.
ISSN
0022-0981
eISSN
1879-1697
D.O.I.
10.1016/S0022-0981(02)00040-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Despite widespread acceptance of the negative effects of macroalgae on corals, very few studies have experimentally tested the competitive nature of the interaction, and most have ignored the potential effects of corals on algae. We report the effects of herbivory and competition on the growth of the branching scleractinian coral Porites cylindrica Dana and the creeping foliose brown alga Lobophora variegata (Lamouroux) Womersley, on an inshore fringing reef of the central Great Barrier Reef. L. variegata overgrows branches of P. cylindrica from the base up, forming a distinct boundary between the alga and the coral tissue. The experiment used exclusion cages to test for effects of herbivores, and removal of algae and coral tissue, at their interaction boundary, to test for inhibition of the competitors by each other. Comparisons of coral branches with the algae present or removed showed that the presence and overgrowth of the alga caused significant coral tissue mortality. Comparisons of branches with coral tissue unmanipulated or damaged showed that the coral inhibited the overgrowth by L. variegata , but that the algae were markedly superior competitors. Importantly, reduced herbivory resulted in faster algal growth and consequent overgrowth and mortality of coral tissue, demonstrating the critical importance of herbivory to the outcome of the competitive interaction.

Journal

Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and EcologyElsevier

Published: May 10, 2002

References

  • Allelopathic interaction between a reef coelenterate and benthic algae
    Bak, R.P.M; Borsboom, J.L.A
  • Algal overgrowth of alcyonacean soft corals
    Coll, J.C; Price, I.R; Konig, G.M; Bowden, B.F
  • Effects of herbivory on zonation of Sargassum spp. within fringing reefs of the central Great Barrier Reef
    McCook, L.J
  • Effects of fish predation and seaweed competition on the survival and growth of corals
    Miller, M.W; Hay, M.E
  • Competition between scleractinian corals and macroalgae: an experimental investigation of coral growth, survival and reproduction
    Tanner, J.E

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off