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Sediment tolerance of Sargassum algae inhabiting sediment-covered rocky reefs
Kawamata, S.; Yoshimitsu, S.; Tokunaga, S.; Kubo, S.; Tanaka, T. (2012). Sediment tolerance of Sargassum algae inhabiting sediment-covered rocky reefs. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 159(3): 723-733.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Kawamata, S.
  • Yoshimitsu, S.
  • Tokunaga, S.
  • Kubo, S.
  • Tanaka, T.

    Although sediment deposition has detrimental effects on macroalgal settlement and recruitment, fucoid algae (mainly Sargassum duplicatum) thrive on rocky reefs always overlaid with fine sediments in sheltered sites of Kagoshima, Japan. The aim of the present study was to assess their ability to settle and recruit onto sediment-covered substrata. A transplant experiment using boulders with Sargassum juveniles attached showed that the 30-day survival rate was as high as 50% even for the juvenile stage (<10 mm) on boulders completely buried with sediment. In addition, an outdoor tank experiment testing the effects of different sediment thicknesses (0–4 mm) on already settled 4-day old S. duplicatum germlings indicated significant reductions in growth by the presence of sediment cover even at 0.5 mm but no significant increase in mortality up to 2 mm. Furthermore, an in situ experiment in which sterilized cobbles were placed at a sediment-covered site to allow sediment to settle over them before the embryo release showed a uniformly high recruitment of Sargassum over the cobbles. This suggests the presence of unknown mechanisms to allow the settlement of propagules on substrata thinly but completely covered by fine sediments.

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