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Marine Biology

, Volume 162, Issue 12, pp 2521–2526 | Cite as

Do native subtidal grazers eat the invasive kelp Undaria pinnatifida?

  • Rocío Suárez Jiménez
  • Christopher D. Hepburn
  • Glenn A. Hyndes
  • Rebecca J. McLeod
  • Richard B. Taylor
  • Catriona L. Hurd
Invasive Species - Short Note
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Invasive Species

Abstract

Key to understanding the impacts of invasive macroalgae on local food webs is determining the extent to which native herbivores consume the invasive macroalga. We used multiple-choice feeding assays to ascertain the relative feeding preferences of four subtidal grazers (the amphipod Aora typica, the isopod Batedotea elongata and the gastropods Cookia sulcata and Haliotis iris) for the invasive macroalga Undaria pinnatifida and six native macroalgae (Macrocystis pyrifera, Durvillaea antarctica, Carpophyllum flexuosum, Cystophora scalaris, Marginariella boryana and Ulva spp.) that are all abundant along the Otago coast of southern New Zealand. Multiple-choice feeding assays were run under laboratory conditions during the austral autumn (April and June) of 2013. The relative abundances of the macroalgae in the field were also determined. All of the grazers ate U. pinnatifida at rates comparable to most of the native macroalgae, except for B. elongata, which barely consumed it. This indicates that U. pinnatifida, which was shown to be more abundant than native macroalgae in subtidal habitats, has the potential to contribute organic matter to the local food web and may be an undesirable food for some group of grazers. We suggest that U. pinnatifida could potentially alter existing trophic relationships.

Keywords

Macroalgae Macroalgal Species Feeding Assay Macrocystis Pyrifera Native Grazer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank S. Bell, R. Pooley, P. Jones, P. S. Fernández, M. Desmond and B. Flack for field and laboratory assistance. This study was funded by an Otago University Doctoral Scholarship to RSJ, Performance Based Research (PBRF) funding from the Department of Botany, University of Otago to CLH, a Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) subcontract to CLH from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd., Biodiversity and Biosecurity OBI (C01X0502) and a FRST Science and Technology Postdoctoral Fellowship to RJM (UOOX0814).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rocío Suárez Jiménez
    • 1
  • Christopher D. Hepburn
    • 2
  • Glenn A. Hyndes
    • 3
  • Rebecca J. McLeod
    • 4
  • Richard B. Taylor
    • 5
  • Catriona L. Hurd
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Marine ScienceUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  3. 3.Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research, School of Natural SciencesEdith Cowan UniversityPerthAustralia
  4. 4.Department of ChemistryUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  5. 5.Leigh Marine LaboratoryUniversity of AucklandLeighNew Zealand
  6. 6.Institute for Marine and Antarctic StudiesUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

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