The short-term effects of low salinities on the survival of germlings of an introduced kelp Undaria pinnatifida and a native kelp Saccharina latissima were assessed under laboratory conditions. This experiment was designed to compare the differential stress tolerance to salinity of the early life history stages of sporophytes of these two kelps that co-occur on European Atlantic coasts. Germlings (young sporophytes) of both species were exposed for 4 days to salinities ranging from 31 (control) to 26, 21, 16, 11, and 6 psu. Afterwards, they were post-cultured in control seawater (31 psu) for another 4 days to corroborate the viability of injured germlings. Results showed that germlings of the introduced kelp were less resistant to low salinity, surviving to as low as 16 psu; whereas the germlings of the native kelp survived in salinities as low as 11 psu. Despite the observed differences, both species are relatively tolerant to low salinity. Our observations also indicated that, at least in a short term, gametophytes of both species were able to survive in salinities as low as 6 psu. The significance of low-salinity tolerance to the distribution of these kelps and for their offshore cultivation is discussed.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 22, 2012
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