Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 515–522 | Cite as

An investigation of the relationship between sediment particles size and the development of green algal mats (Ulva prolifera) on the intertidal flats of Muan, Korea

  • Chan Sun Park
  • Eun Kyoung Hwang


The relationship between median grain size of sediments and the abundance in the wild of green algal mats (Ulva prolifera) on the intertidal flats of Muan, Korea, were investigated. The impact of substratum particle size on the growth and survival of germlings was examined in the laboratory. In the wild, the average annual density of algal mats was 7,950 ind m−2. The algal mats mainly occurred in sands and exhibited patchy distribution. Statistical analysis indicates significant spatial analysis differences and a significant relationship between density and the ratio of sands to silts, suggesting that the distribution and density of this species were related to particle size. In laboratory experiments, the survival rate of U. prolifera germlings was the lowest value (22%) on sediments with a median grain size of 63–125 μm. Laboratory experiments have generally shown a positive relationship between attachment or survival of the alga and substratum particles size. Our laboratory results indicate a clear link between germling settlement/survival and substratum particle size. These results explain the spatial differences in abundance observed in the field in relation to the distribution and ratio of sands to silt on the Muan flats.


Ulva prolifera Green algal mats Distribution Sediment Particle size 



We are grateful to Professor J.H. Chang (Mokpo National University, Korea) for analyzing particle size and Dr. Philip Heath (NIWA, New Zealand) for reviewing the English. This work was supported by NFRDI (RP-2010-AQ-014) and a grant from Priority Research Centers Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2009-0093828).


  1. Airoldi L (1998) Roles of disturbance, sediment stress, and substratum retention on spatial dominance in algal turf. Ecology 79:2759–2770CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Airoldi L, Cinelli F (1997) Effects of sedimentation on subtidal macroalgal assemblages: an experimental study from a Mediterranean rocky shore. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 215:269–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Albrecht AS (1998) Soft bottom versus hard rock: community ecology of macroalgae on intertidal mussel beds in the Wadden Sea. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 229:85–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arakawa H (2005) Lethal effects caused by suspended particles and sediment load on zoospores and gametophytes of the brown alga Eisenia bicyclis. Fish Sci 71:133–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Arakawa H, Matsuike K (1992) Influence on insertion of zoospores, germination, survival, and maturation of gametophytes of brown algae exerted by sediments. Nippon Suis Gakk 58:619–625Google Scholar
  6. Best EPH, Buzzelli CP, Bartell SM, Wetzel RL, Boyd WA, Doyle RD, Campbell KR (2001) Modeling submersed macrophyte growth in relation to underwater light climate: modeling approaches and application potential. Hydrobiologia 444:43–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Buschmann AH, Briganti F, Retamales CA (1997) Intertidal cultivation of Gracilaria chilensis (Rhodophyta) in southern Chile: long term invertebrate abundance patterns. Aquaculture 156:269–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chapman AS, Chapman ARO (1999) Effects of cordgrass on saltmarsh fucoids: reduced desiccation and light availability, but no changes in biomass. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 238:69–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chapman AS, Fletcher RL (2002) Differential effects of sediments on survival and growth of Fucus serratus embryos (Fucales, Phaeophyceae). J Phycol 38:894–903CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. D’Antonio CM (1986) Role of sand in the domination of hard substrata by the intertidal alga Rhodomela larix. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 27:263–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Devinny JS, Volse LA (1978) Effects of sediments on the development of Macrocystis pyrifera gametophytes. Mar Biol 48:343–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Friedman GM, Sanders JE (1978) Principles of sedimentology. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  13. Informatization Officer (2006) Statistical yearbook of maritime affairs and fisheries. Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, SeoulGoogle Scholar
  14. Kang TH, Yoo SH, Lee SW, Choi OI, Lee CB (2008) A study on the habitat use of waterbirds and grading assessment of the tidal flat at Muan Bay in Jeollanamdo, Korea. Kor J Env Ecol 22:521–529Google Scholar
  15. Kendrick GA (1991) Recruitment of coralline crusts and filamentous turf algae in the Galapagos archipelago: effect of simulated scour, erosion and accretion. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 147:47–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Littler MM, Martz DR, Littler DS (1983) Effects of recurrent and deposition on rocky intertidal organisms: importance of substrate heterogeneity in a fluctuation environment. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 11:129–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lyngby JE, Mortensen SM (1996) Effects of dredging activities on growth of Laminaria saccharina. Mar Ecol PSZNI 17:345–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Madsen JD, Chambers PA, James WF, Koch EW, Westlake E (2001) The interaction between water movement, sediment dynamics and submersed macrophytes. Hydrobiologia 444:71–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Norton TA (1978) The factors influencing the distribution of Saccorhiza polyschides in the region of Lough Ine. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 58:527–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ohno M, Miyanoue K (1980) The ecology of the food alga Enteromorpha prolifera. Rep Usa Mar Biol Inst 2:11–17Google Scholar
  21. Pang SJ, Lin F, Shan TS, Xu N, Zhang ZH, Gao SQ, Chopin T, Sun S (2010) Tracking the algal origin of the Ulva bloom in the Yellow Sea by a combination of molecular, morphological and physiological analyses. Mar Env Res 69:207–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Renaud PE, Riggs SR, WGJr A, Schmid K, Syster DA (1997) Biological–geological interactions: storm effects on macroalgal communities mediated by sediment characteristics and distribution. Continental Shelf Res 17:37–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ryu SK, Kim JY, You HS (2000) Seasonal variation and transport pattern of suspended matters in semiclosed Muan Bay, southwestern coast of Korea. J Kor Ear Sci Soc 21:128–136Google Scholar
  24. Runcie JW, Ritchie RJ, Larkum AWD (2003) Uptake kinetics and assimilation of inorganic nitrogen by Catenella nipae and Ulva lactuca. Aquat Bot 76:155–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Seapy RR, Littler MM (1982) Population and species diversity fluctuations in a rocky intertidal community relative to severe aerial exposure and sediment burial. Mar Biol 71:87–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sfriso A, Marcomini A (1996) Decline of Ulva growth in the lagoon of Venice. Biores Technol 58:299–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1995) Biometry. The principles and practices of statistics in biological research, 3rd edn. W.H. Freeman, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  28. Umar MJ, McCook LJ, Price IR (1998) Effects of sediment deposition on the seaweed Sargassum on a fringing coral reef. Coral Reefs 17:169–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Van Duin EHS, Blom G, Los FJ, Maffione R, Zimmerman R, Cerco CF, Dortch M, Best EPH (2001) Modeling underwater light climate in relation to sedimentation, resuspension, water quality and autotrophic growth. Hydrobiologia 444:25–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Yoon JT, Cho YC, Gong YG (2003) A study on the cultivation of Enteromorpha prolifera (Müller) J. Agardh, Chlorophyta in Korea. J Aquault 16:44–50Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marine and Fisheries ResourcesMokpo National UniversityMuan-gunSouth Korea
  2. 2.National Fisheries Research & Development InstituteSeaweed Research CenterMokpoSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations