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Invasion of a habitat-forming seaweed: effects on associated biota
Wikström, S.; Kautsky, L. (2004). Invasion of a habitat-forming seaweed: effects on associated biota. Biological Invasions 6: 141-150
In: Biological Invasions. Springer: London. ISSN 1387-3547, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Host preferences; Introduced species; Fucus evanescens C.Agardh, 1820 [WoRMS]; Fucus vesiculosus Linnaeus, 1753 [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Wikström, S.
  • Kautsky, L.

Abstract
    Fucus evanescens is a brown alga of arctic origin that has invaded European coasts. The epiphytic community of F. evanescens in southern Sweden was compared with that of the native Fucus vesiculosus, to examine to what extent an invading seaweed can modify local biodiversity. F. evanescens was much less fouled than F. vesiculosus, supporting both less biomass and fewer species of epiphytes. Multivariate analysis of the most common epiphyte taxa showed that the epiphytic community composition of F. evanescens was not entirely separated from that of F. vesiculosus, but host species contributed significantly to explain the variation in community composition. The biomass of free-living invertebrates was also lower on F. evanescens, although the pattern differed between taxonomic groups. While the biomass of amphipods was lower on F. evanescens, there was no significant difference in biomass of isopods or gastropods between the Fucus species. The good correlation between biomass of epiphytes and free-living animals suggests that the epiphytes play an important role in providing a suitable habitat for many species of free-living epifauna. The study shows that the invasion of F. evanescens affects the environmental conditions for many species associated with the Fucus community but that the direct effect on biodiversity is probably low.

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