Marine Biology

, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 327–335 | Cite as

Ecology of two littoral species of caprellid amphipods (Crustacea) from Washington, USA

  • E. A. Caine


Ecology of 2 littoral species of caprellid amphipods is compared. Populations of Caprella laeviuscula, a periphyton scraper/filter-feeder, are most dense on eelgrass Zostera marina L. In the absence of C. laeviuscula, periphyton biomass increases 411% in protected Z. marina beds. The light absorption spectra of periphyton and Z. marina are similar, and C. laeviuscula, by its periphyton removal, may allow Z. marina to grow in areas where it would otherwise be excluded. C. laeviuscula is aggressively dominant over sympatric caprellids, and seasonal predators of C. laeviuscula are absent during winter, the period when periphyton would be most limiting to Z. marina. Populations of Deutella californica, a predator, are most dense on the hydroid Obelia dichotoma (L.). In the O. dichotoma epibiotic community, D. californica is the primary predator, but removal did not change the composition of the community structure. In the absence of other macropredators, the structure of the O. dichotoma epibiotic community depends more on the seasonality of O. dichotoma occurrence than on organismal interactions.


Biomass Absorption Spectrum Community Structure Light Absorption Hydroid 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Abele, L. G.: Comparative species composition and relative abundance of decapod crustaceans in marine habitats of Panamá. Mar. Biol. 38, 263–278 (1976)Google Scholar
  2. Caine, E. A.: Cleansing mechanisms of caprellid amphipods (Crustacea) from North America. Mar. Behav. and Physiol. 4, 161–169 (1976)Google Scholar
  3. Caine, E. A.: Feeding mechanisms and possible resource partitioning of the Caprellidae (Crustacea: Amphipoda) from Puget Sound, USA. Mar. Biol. 42, 331–336 (1977)Google Scholar
  4. Caine, E. A.: Population structures of two species of caprellid amphipods (Crustacea). J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 40, 103–114 (1979)Google Scholar
  5. Castenholtz, R. W.: The effect of grazing on marine littoral diatom populations. Ecology 42, 783–794 (1961)Google Scholar
  6. Coe, W. R.: Season of attachment and rate of growth of sedentary marine organisms at the pier of the Scripps Institution of Oceangraphy, La Jolla, California. Bull. Scripps Inst Oceanogr. tech. (Ser. 3), 37–86 (1932)Google Scholar
  7. Conover, J. T.: The ecology, seasonal periodicity, and distribution of benthic plants in some Texas lagoons. Bot. Mar. 7, 4–41 (1964)Google Scholar
  8. Dahl, E.: On the smaller Arthropoda of marine algae, especially in the polyhaline waters off the Swedish West Coast. Undersökningar Over Oresund 35, 1–193 (1948)Google Scholar
  9. Dommasnes, A.: Variations in the meiofauna of Corallina officinalis L. with wave exposure. Sarsia 34, 117–124 (1968)Google Scholar
  10. Fishelson, L.: Ecology of the Northern Red Sea crinoids and their epi-and endozoic fauna. Mar. Biol. 26, 183–192 (1974)Google Scholar
  11. Glynn, P. W.: Some physical and biological determinants of coral community structure in the Eastern Pacific. Ecol. Monogr. 46, 431–456 (1976)Google Scholar
  12. Hagerman, L.: The macro-and microfauna associated with Fucus serratus L., with some ecological remarks. Ophelia 3, 1–43 (1966)Google Scholar
  13. Hoese, H. D. and R. S. Jones: Seasonality of larger animals in a Texas turtle grass community. Publs Inst. mar. Sci. Univ. Tex. 9, 37–42 (1963)Google Scholar
  14. Humm, H. J.: Epiphytes of the sea grass, Thalassia testudinium in Florida. Bull. mar. Sci. Gulf Caribb. 14, 306–341 (1964)Google Scholar
  15. Jones, N. S.: Marine bottom communities. Biol. Rev. 25, 283–313 (1950)Google Scholar
  16. Keith, D. E.: Substrate selection in caprellid amphipods of Southern California, with emphasis on Caprella californica Stimpson and Caprella equilibra Say (Amphipoda). Pacif. Sci. 25, 387–394 (1971)Google Scholar
  17. Larkum, L. W. D.: Ecology of Botany Bay. I. Growth of Posidonia australis (Brown) Hook. F. in Botany Bay and other bays of the Sydney Basin. Aust. J. mar. Freshwater. Res. 27, 117–127 (1976)Google Scholar
  18. Laubitz, D. R.: Studies on the Caprellidae (Crustacea: Amphipoda) of the American North Pacific. Natl. Mus. Can. Publ. Biol. Oceanogr. 1, 1–89 (1970)Google Scholar
  19. Marsh, G. A.: The Zostera epifaunal community in the York River, Virginia. Chesapeake Sci. 14, 87–97 (1973)Google Scholar
  20. McCain, J. C.: The Caprellidae (Crustacea: Amphipoda) of the Western North Atlantic. Bull. U.S. natn. Mus. 278, 1–147 (1968)Google Scholar
  21. McCloskey, L. R.: The dynamics of the community associated with a marine scleractinian coral. Int. Revue ges. Hydrobiol. 55, 13–81 (1970)Google Scholar
  22. McIntire, C. D.: Some effects of current velocity on periphyton communities in laboratory systems. Hydrobiologia 27, 559 (1966)Google Scholar
  23. Nagle, J. S.: Distribution of the epibiota of macroepibenthic plants. Contrib. Mar. Sci. 13, 105–144 (1968)Google Scholar
  24. Paine, R. T.: A note on trophic complexity and community stability. Am. Nat. 103, 91–93 (1969)Google Scholar
  25. Patton, W. K.: Studies on the animal symbionts of the gorgonian coral, Leptogorgia virgulata (Lamarck). Bull. mar. Sci. 22, 419–431 (1972)Google Scholar
  26. Patton, W. K.: Community structure among the animals inhabiting the coral Pocillopora damicornis at Heron Island, Australia, p. 219–243. In: W. B. Vernberg (ed.). Symbiosis in the Sea. Univ. of South Carolina Press, Columbia, South Carolina (1974)Google Scholar
  27. Rasmussen, E.: Systematics and ecology of the Isefjord marine fauna (Denmark) with a survey of the eelgrass (Zostera) vegetation and its communities. Ophelia 11, 1–507 (1973)Google Scholar
  28. Reeve, M. R.: The ecological significance of the zooplankton in the shallow sub-tropical waters of South Florida. Estaurine Res. 1, 352–371 (1975)Google Scholar
  29. Sale, P. F., P. S. McWilliams, and D. T. Anderson: Composition of the near-reef zooplankton at Heron Reef, Great Barrier Reef. Mar. Biol. 34, 59–66 (1976)Google Scholar
  30. Sand-Jensen, K.: Effect of epiphytes on eelgrass photosynthesis. Aquatic Bot. 3, 55–63 (1977)Google Scholar
  31. Stebbing, A. R. D.: The epizoic fauna of Flustra foliacea (Bryozoa). J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 51, 283–300 (1971)Google Scholar
  32. Tepedino, V. J. and N. L. Stanton: Cushion plants as islands. Oecologia 25, 243–256 (1976)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. A. Caine
    • 1
  1. 1.Friday Harbor LaboratoriesUniversity of WashingtonFriday HarborUSA

Personalised recommendations