Plant defense association in the marine environment

Littler, Mark M. and Taylor, Phillip. R and Littler, Diane S. (1986) Plant defense association in the marine environment. Coral Reefs (5). pp. 63-71.

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    In contrast to terrestrial systems, few positive plant-plant association have recorded in tropical reef environment. This study, conducted at Carrie Bow Cay, Belize during 28 March-10 April 1984, provides the first documentation of herbivore and unpalatable marine plants. For example, there was a highly significant association of several macrophyte taxa (Laurencia poiteri, Dictyota app,.Amphiroa fragilissima, cladophopsis macromeres, Galaxaura cylindrica, rhodophycean turf) within a 2.0 c-m radius of the herbivor-resistant brown alga strypopodium Zonale as within 10 cm of an equal number of random stypopodium-free points, and there were no algal species negatively associated with S. Zonale. The association of A. tribulus, L. poiteri, Digenia simplex, rhodophycean turf, and Jania adherens with S. zonale provided them a fourfold greater survivorship per 48 h in the presence of grazing activity by the fishes (mainly Acanthuridae and Scaridae). Reduced herbivory by the fishes on macroalgae associated with S. zonale was not solely a consequence of its structural aspect. Losses of the palatable alga Aconthopora spicifera were significantly greater for thalli spatially remote (30 and 60 cm) from either a real or stimulated strypopodium plants were significantly less that the losses next to models. The inter-relationship studied here, where an abundant and well defended plant provides a significant refuge habitat for at least five relative edible macroalgae, clearly facilitates the survival of certain taxa in the reef system and con-concomitantly enhances the within habitat diversity. Our findings also suggest an interaction counter to the process of competitive exclusion, since the single predominant plants has a positive rather negative net effect on the abundance of other species that utilizes the same general resources(e.g., light, space, nutrients).

    Item Type: Peer-reviewed Journal Article
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      Publisher: Springer Verlag
      Subjects: (A) Biodiversity > (AH) Plants
      Publication Sources: (1) Environmental Research Institute
      Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 11:19
      Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 11:19

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