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Effects of ocean temperature on the southern range limits of two understory kelps, Pterygophora californica and Eisenia arborea, at multiple life-stages
Matson, P.G.; Edwards, M.S. (2007). Effects of ocean temperature on the southern range limits of two understory kelps, Pterygophora californica and Eisenia arborea, at multiple life-stages. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 151(5): 1941-1949. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-007-0630-3
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Matson, P.G.
  • Edwards, M.S.

Abstract
    Environmental factors have long been shown to influence species distributions, with range limits often resulting from environmental stressors exceeding organism tolerances. However, these abiotic factors may differentially affect species with multiple life-history stages. Between September 2004 and January 2006, the roles of temperature and nutrient availability in explaining the southern distributions of two understory kelps, Pterygophora californica and Eisenia arborea (Phaeophyceae, Laminariales), were investigated along the coast of California, USA and the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico, by limiting either: (a) tissue nitrogen uptake and storage by adult sporophytes during periods of elevated temperature, and/or (b) production of embryonic sporophytes by microscopic gametophytes. Results suggest that while adult sporophytes of both species are tolerant of high temperatures and low nutrients, reproduction by their microscopic stages is not. Specifically, while E. arborea produced embryonic sporophytes at both 12 and 18°C, temperatures commonly observed throughout the southern portion of its range, P. californica produced sporophytes at 12 but not at 18°C. As a result, it appears that the southern distribution of P. californica, which ends in northern Baja California, Mexico, may be limited by temperature acting on its microscopic stages. In contrast, the ability of E. arborea’s microscopic and adult stages to tolerate elevated temperatures allows it to persist in the warmer southern waters of Baja California, as well as to the north along the California coast where both species co-occur.

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