Advertisement

Hydrobiologia

, 157:97 | Cite as

A field investigation into the effects of interspecific competition on the distribution and cover of Ulothrix flacca

  • Brian L. Palmer
  • Eric J. Sideman
Article
  • 37 Downloads

Abstract

Ulothrix flacca is a filamentous green alga found in its greatest abundance in the littoral fringe of the rocky intertidal during the winter months. It is much less abundant below this level. This experiment was undertaken tot determine if the lower abundance below the littoral fringe is due to the effects of interspecific competition or physiological limitations. Clearing experiments were performed on the Coast of Maine, USA to eliminate competition. Belts 10 cm wide that ran from the littoral fringe downward into the eulittoral zone were cleared of all attached organisms down to bare rock. A second condition was set up in which only the brown algal canopy was removed from a 60 cm wide belt. Unaltered belts were designated as controls. Squares 0.25 m2 in area were cleared in the littoral fringe and eulittoral zone. U. flacca was able to colonize the cleared areas of the eulittoral zone and reach abundances equal to those found in the unaltered control areas of the littoral fringe. This indicates that physiological limitations do not restrict the abundance of U. flacca in the eulittoral zone. However, evidence of grazing in cleared areas adjacent to high concentrations of the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides suggest that competition alone is not responsible for the limited abundance of U. flacca in the eulittoral zone. Herbivores associated with the presence of barnacles may also have an impact on the abundance of U. flacca, even during the winter months.

Key words

competition zonation Ulothrix flacca intertidal 

References

  1. Allender, B. M., 1977. Effects of emersion and temperature upon the growth of the tropical brown alga Padina japonica, using a tide simulating apparatus. Mar. Biol. 40: 95–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berger-Perrot, Y., 1980. Ulothrix flacca (Dillwyn) Thuret (Chlorophyceé, Ulotrichale) des ctes de Bretagne et son polymorphisme. Cryptogam. Algol. 1: 229–248.Google Scholar
  3. Chapman, A. R. O., 1973. A critique of prevailing attitudes towards the control of seaweed zonation on the sea shore. Bot. mar. 16: 80–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Colman, J., 1933. The nature of the intertidal zonation of plants and animals. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 18: 435–476.Google Scholar
  5. Connell, J. H., 1961. The influence of interspecific competition and other factors on the distribution of the barnacle Chthamalus stellatus. Ecology 42: 710–723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cubit, J. D., 1984. Herbivory and the seasonal abundance of algae on a high intertidal shore. Ecology 65: 1904–1917.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Doty, M. S., 1946. Critical tide factors that are correlated with the vertical distribution of marine algae and other organisms on the Pacific coast. Ecology 27: 315–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Doty, M. S. & J. G. Archer, 1950. An experimental test of the tide factor hypothesis. Am. J. Bot. 37: 458–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Edwards, P., 1977. An investigation of the vertical distribution of selected benthic marine algae with a tide-simulating apparatus. J. Phycol. 13: 62–68.Google Scholar
  10. Fahey, E. M. & M. S. Doty, 1949. Pioneer colonization of intertidal transects. Biol. Pull. 97: 238–239.Google Scholar
  11. Foster, M. S., 1982. Factors controlling the intertidal zonation of Iridea flaccida (Rhodophyta). J. Phycol. 18: 285–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hawkins, S. J., 1981. The influence of season and barnacles on the algal colonization of Patella vulgata exclusion areas. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 61: 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Howell, D. C., 1982. Statistical Methods for Psychology. Prindle, Weber and Schmidt Publishers, MA, 583 pp.Google Scholar
  14. Hruby, T., 1976. Observations of algal zonation resulting from competition, Estuar. coast. mar. Sci. 4: 231–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kain, J. M., 1975. Algal recolonization of some cleared subtidal areas. J. Ecol. 63: 739–765.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lawson, G. W., 1957. Seasonal variation of intertidal zonation on the coast of Ghana in relation to tidal factors. J. Ecol. 45: 831–860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lewis, J. R., 1964. The Ecology of Rocky Shores. Hodder and Stoughton, London, England, 323 pp.Google Scholar
  18. Lubchenco, J., 1980. Algal zonation in the New England rocky intertidal community: An experimental analysis. Ecology 61: 333–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lubchenco, J. & B. A. Menge, 1978. Community development and persistance in a low rocky intertidal zone. Ecol. Monogr. 48: 67–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. MacArthur, R. H. & E. O. Wilson, 1967. The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 203 pp.Google Scholar
  21. Markham, J. W. & I. M. Munda, 1980. Algal recolonization in the rocky eulittoral at Helgoland, Germany. Aquat. Bot. 9: 33–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McCall, R. B., 1980. Fundamental Statistics for Psychology, Third Edition. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., NY, 420 pp.Google Scholar
  23. Saito, Y. H., H. Sasaki & K. Watanabe, 1976. Succession of algal communities on the vertical substratum faces of breakwaters in Japan. Phycologia 15: 93–100.Google Scholar
  24. Shonbeck, M. W. & T. A. Norton, 1980. Factors controlling the lower limits of fucoid algae on the shore. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 43: 131–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sokal, R. R. & F. J. Rohlf, 1973. Introduction to Biostatistics. W.H. Freeman and Co., San Francisco, CA, 859 pp.Google Scholar
  26. Sousa, W. P., 1979. Experimental investigations of disturbance and succession in a rocky intertidal algal community. Ecol. Monogr. 49: 227–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Southwood, T. R., 1976. Bionomic stategies and population parameters. In R. M. May (ed.) Theoretical Ecology, Principles and Applications. W. B. Saunders C., Philadelphia: 26–48.Google Scholar
  28. Taylor, W. R., 1972. Marine Algae of the Northeastern Coast of North America. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI, 509 pp.Google Scholar
  29. Townsend, C. & G. W. Lawson, 1972. Preliminary results on factors causing zonation in Enteromorpha using a tide simulating apparatus. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 8: 265–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Underwood, A., 1978. A refutation of critical tidal levels as determinants of the structure of intertidal communities on British shores. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 33: 261–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Vermeij, G. J., 1978. Biogeography and Adaptation: Patterns of Marine Life. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 332 pp.Google Scholar
  32. Wilson, O. T., 1925. Some experimental observations of marine algal successions. Ecology 6: 303–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zaneveld, J. S., 1969. Factors controlling the delimitation of littoral benthic marine algal zonation. Am. Zool. 9: 367–391.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian L. Palmer
    • 1
  • Eric J. Sideman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyBates CollegeLewistonUSA

Personalised recommendations