Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 83–91 | Cite as

Expansion of a central California kelp forest following the mass mortality of sea urchins

  • J. S. Pearse
  • A. H. Hines
Article

Abstract

The mass mortality by disease of a localized population of sea urchins, Strongylocencrotus franciscanus, on the seaward side of a kelp forest was followed by the rapid seaward expansion of 4 species of brown algae, Macrocystis pyrifera, Laminaria dentigera, Pterygophora california, and to a lesser extent, Nereocystis leutkeana. One other brown alga, Cystoseira osmundacea, failed to become established in the newly available area. Competition among M. pyrifera, L. dentigera, P. californica, and N. Leutkeana apparently was severe, and within 1 year after the demise of the sea urchins, M. pyrifera formed a dense, nearly monospecific stand. Experimental removal of M. pyrifera demonstrated that the canopy of these plants limited light penetration to levels below that necessary for the growth and survival of other brown and red algae.

Keywords

Brown Alga Mass Mortality Kelp Forest Giant Kelp Kelp Canopy 
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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Anderson, E.K. and W.J. North: In situ studies of spore production and dispersal in the giant kelp Macrocystis. In: Proceedings of the Fifth International Seaweed Symposium, pp 73–86. Ed. by E.G. Young and J.L. McLachlan. New York: Pergamon Press 1966Google Scholar
  2. Breen, P.A. and K.H. Mann: Destructive grazing of kelp by sea urchins in Eastern Canada. J. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 33, 1278–1283 (1976a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. —— Changing lobster abundance and the destruction of kelp beds by sea urchins. Mar. Biol. 34, 137–142 (1976b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Connell, J.H.: Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefs. Science, N.Y. 199 1302–1310 (1978)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. — and R.O. Slatyer: Mechanisms of succession in natural communities and their role in community stability and organization. Am. Nat. 111, 1119–1144 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dayton, P.K.: Experimental studies of algal canopy interactions in a sea-otter dominated kelp community at Amchitka Island, Alaska. Fish. Bull, U.S. 73, 230–237 (1975)Google Scholar
  7. Foreman, R.E.: Benthic community modification and recovery following extensive grazing by Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis. Helgoländer wiss. Meeresunters. 30, 468–484 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. — Jones, N.S. and J.M. Kain: Subtidal algal colonization following the removal of Echinus. Helgoländer goländer wiss. Meeresunters. 15, 460–466 (1967)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kain, J.M. and N.S. Jones: Algal colonization after removal of Echinus. In: Proceedings of the Fifth International Seaweed Symposium, pp 129–140. Ed. by E.G. Young and J.L. McLachlan. New York: Pergamon Press 1966Google Scholar
  10. Kitching, J.A. and F.J. Ebling: The ecology of Lough Ine. XI. The control of algae by Paracentrotus lividus (Echinoidea). J. Anim. Ecol. 30, 373–383 (1961)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lawrence, J.M.: On the relationships between marine plants and sea urchins. Oceanogr. mar. Biol. A. Rev. 13, 213–286 (1975)Google Scholar
  12. Leighton, D.L.: Studies of food preference in algivorous invertebrates of southern California kelp beds. Pacif. Sci. 20, 104–113 (1966)Google Scholar
  13. —: Grazing activities of benthic invertebrates in kelp beds. In: The biology of giant kelp beds (Macrocystis) in California, pp 421–453. Ed. by W.J. North. Lehre, FRG: J. Cramer 1971. (Beih. Nova Hedwigia, Bd 32)Google Scholar
  14. —, L.G. Jones and W.J. North: Ecological relationships between giant kelp and sea urchins in southern California. In: Proceedings of the Fifth International Seaweed Symposium, pp 141–153. Ed. by E.G. Young and J.L. McLachlan. New York: Pergamon Press 1966Google Scholar
  15. Mattison, J.E., J.D. Trent, A.L. Shanks, T.B. Akin and J.S. Pearse. Movement and feeding activity of red sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) adjacent to a kelp forest. Mar. Biol. 39, 25–30 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Neushul, M.: Submarine illumination in Macrocystis beds. In: The biology of giant kelp beds (Macrocystis) in California, pp 241–254. Ed. by W.J. North. Lehre, FRG: J. Cramer 1971. (Beih. Nova Hedwigia, Bd 32)Google Scholar
  17. North, W.J.: Introduction and background. In: The biology of giant kelp beds (Macrocystis) in California, pp 1–97. Ed. by W.J. North. Lehre, FRG: J. Cramer 1971. (Beih. Nova Hedwigia, Bd 32)Google Scholar
  18. —: A review of studies supporting sea urchin control as a means of restoring kelp beds. In: Kelp habitat improvement project, Annual Report 1973–1974, pp 95–108. Ed. by W.J. North. Pasadena, California: California Institute of Technology 1974Google Scholar
  19. Paine, R.T. and R.L. Vadas: The effects of grazing by sea urchins, Strongylocentrotus spp. on benthic algal populations. Limnol. Oceanogr. 14, 710–719 (1969)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pearse, J.S., M.E. Clark, D.L. Leighton, C.T. Mitchell and W.J. North: Marine waste-disposal and sea urchin ecology. In: Kelp habitat improvement project, Annual Report 1969–1970, appendix 1–87. Ed. by W.J. North. Pasadena, California: California Institute of Technology 1970Google Scholar
  21. —, D.P. Costa, M.B. Yellin and C.R. Agegian: Localized mass mortality of red sea urchins, Strongylocentrotus franciscanus, near Santa Cruz, California. Fish. Bull. U.S. 75, 645–648 (1977)Google Scholar
  22. Pickett, S.T.A.: Succession: an evolutionary interpretation. Am. Nat. 110, 107–119 (1976)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rasmussen, E.: The wasting disease of eelgrass (Zostera marina) and its effects on environmental factors and fauna. In: Seagrass ecosystems: a scientific perspective, pp 1–54. Ed. by C.P. McRoy and C. Helfferich. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1977Google Scholar
  24. Sinderman, C.J.: Principal diseases of marine fish and shellfish, 369 pp. New York: Academic Press 1970Google Scholar
  25. Smith, F.G.W.: Sponge disease in British Honduras, and its transmission by water currents. Ecology 22, 415–421 (1941)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Yellin, M.B., C.R. Agegian and J.S. Pearse: Ecological benchmarks in the Santa Cruz County kelp forests before the re-establishment of sea otters. Tech. Rep. Cent. cstl mar. Stud., Univ. Calif. S Cruz 6, 1–125 (1977)Google Scholar
  27. Vadas, R.L.: Preferential feeding: an optimization strategy in sea urchins. Ecol. Monogr. 47, 337–371 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Pearse
    • 1
  • A. H. Hines
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Coastal Marine StudiesUniversity of California at Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA

Personalised recommendations