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Proximity to competitors changes secondary metabolites of non-indigenous cup corals, Tubastraea spp., in the southwest Atlantic
Lages, B.; Fleury, B.G.; Hovell, A.M.C.; Rezende, C.M.; Pinto, A.C.; Creed, J.C. (2012). Proximity to competitors changes secondary metabolites of non-indigenous cup corals, Tubastraea spp., in the southwest Atlantic. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 159(7): 1551-1559. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-012-1941-6
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Lages, B.
  • Fleury, B.G.
  • Hovell, A.M.C.
  • Rezende, C.M.
  • Pinto, A.C.
  • Creed, J.C.

Abstract
    Competition for space changes species’ distributions and community organization on tropical rocky shores, and the presence of secondary metabolites in the tissues of non-indigenous species may aid them in establishing and expanding their range through negative competitive interactions. The aim of this study was to describe the range of chemical substances produced by the non-indigenous cup corals Tubastraea coccinea and T. tagusensis and to test whether they varied in the field when the corals were placed in proximity to two local competitors. Cholest-5-en-3ß-ol and 9-octadecanoic acid were two common secondary metabolites found in the tissues of Tubastraea. In the competition interaction experiment, necrosis was detected on the tissues of the coral Mussismilia hispida, and this species induced variation in sterol, alkaloid, and fatty acid production in Tubastraea tissues. In contrast, a sponge overgrew Tubastraea colonies. These results indicate that chemical defense may contribute to the ability of these non-indigenous corals to invade native communities.

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