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Title: Herbivory drives kelp recruits into ‘hiding’ in a warm ocean climate
Authors: Franco, J.
Wernberg, T.
Bertocci, I.
Duarte, P.
Jacinto, D.
Vasco-Rodrigues, N.
Tuya, F.
Keywords: Atlantic Ocean
Habitat complexity
Kelp forests
Range limit
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Marine Ecology Progress Series
Citation: Franco JN, Wernberg T, Bertocci I, Duarte P, Jacinto D, Vasco-Rodrigues N, Tuya F (2015) Herbivory drives kelp recruits into ‘hiding’ in a warm ocean climate. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 536:1-9
Abstract: Assessing effects of herbivory across broad gradients of varying ocean climate conditions and over small spatial scales is crucial for understand- ing its influence on primary producers. Effects of her- bivory on the distribution and abundance of kelp re- cruits were examined experimentally at two regions under contrasting ocean climate. Specifically, the abundance and survivorship of kelp recruits and the abundance of macro-herbivores were compared be- tween a ‘cool’ and a ‘warm’ region in northern and central Portugal, respectively. In each region, the abundance of kelp recruits and the intensity of grazing were compared between habitats of different topography within reefs (open reef vs. crevices). Com- pared to the ‘warm’ region, the abundance of kelp re- cruits was 3.9 times greater in the ‘cool’ region, where 85% of recruits were found in open reef habitats. In contrast, 87% of recruits in the ‘warm’ region were re- stricted to crevices. The ‘warm’ region had 140 times greater abundances of sea urchins, 45 times more herbivorous fish and 4.1 times more grazing marks on kelp recruits than the ‘cool’ region. Grazing assays showed ca. 50 times higher rates of kelp biomass con- sumption, mainly by fishes, and zero survivorship of kelp recruits in the ‘warm’ relative to the ‘cool’ region. This study suggests both temperature and herbivores affect abundances of kelp recruits across latitudes, and demonstrates how herbivores affect their distri- bution at local scales, driving kelp recruits into ‘hiding’ in crevices under intense herbivory. Conse- quently, where net recruitment success is compro- mised by herbivory, the persistence of kelps will be contingent on availability of topographical refuges.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:BIO - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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