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Floating seaweeds and their communities
Rothäusler, E.; Gutow, L.; Thiel, M. (2012). Floating seaweeds and their communities, in: Wiencke, C. et al. (Ed.) Seaweed biology: Novel insights into ecophysiology, ecology and utilization. Ecological Studies, 219: pp. 359-380
In: Wiencke, C.; Bischof, K. (Ed.) (2012). Seaweed biology: Novel insights into ecophysiology, ecology and utilization. Ecological Studies, 219. Springer-Verlag: Berlin, Heidelberg. ISBN 978-3-642-28450-2. xiii, 510 pp., more
In: Heldmaier, G. et al. (Ed.) Ecological Studies. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0070-8356, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Rothäusler, E.
  • Gutow, L.
  • Thiel, M.

    A wide diversity of floating seaweeds is found in temperate and subpolar regions of the world’s oceans where sea surface currents and winds determine their traveling velocities and directions. The importance of floating seaweeds as dispersal agents for associated organisms and for the algae themselves varies depending on the supply from benthic source populations and on their persistence at the sea surface. Persistence of floating algae depends on water temperature, grazing activity, epifaunal load, and, to a lesser extent, on prevailing irradiance conditions. In temperate regions, persistence of floating algae is primarily limited by warm sea surface temperatures and high densities of motile and sessile epifauna whereas at higher latitudes algae can successfully compensate grazer-induced tissue loss by continuous growth at the prevailing low water temperatures. Accordingly, floating seaweeds can bridge large oceanic distances especially at high latitudes allowing for connectivity among distant benthic populations of algae and associated rafters.

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