, Volume 226, Issue 2, pp 111–118 | Cite as

Artificial algae as habitats for mobile epifauna: factors affecting colonization in a Japanese Sargassum bed

  • Graham J. Edgar


The utility of artificial habitats as tools in benthic studies was assessed by comparing the faunas associated with natural and artificial plants in a Japanese Sargassum bed. The 35 most common epifaunal species collected were all found to associate with both artificial and natural habitats, however, the abundances of species varied considerably between habitats. Colonization of artificial habitats was most rapid between 8 and 24 days after being placed in the field. This increased rate of colonization at intermediate time periods possibly reflected increasing attractiveness of habitats as a periphytic coating developed after the first week. Artificial habitats preconditioned in a sunlit environment to possess a layer of epiphytic algae attracted much higher numbers of epifaunal animals than habitats placed in a darkened but otherwise similar preconditioning environment. Epifaunal species appear to be attracted to artificial substrata, and presumably also natural habitats, largely because of associated diatoms and epiphytic plants.

Key words

artificial habitats macrofauna Epifauna Sargassum algae amphipods 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham J. Edgar
    • 1
  1. 1.Amakusa Marine Biological LaboratoryReihoku-choJapan

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