Marine Biology

, Volume 83, Issue 3, pp 301–311 | Cite as

Growth of juvenile Macrocystis pyrifera (Laminariales) in relation to environmental factors

  • T. A. Dean
  • F. R. Jacobsen


Instantaneous relative growth rates, μ (d-1), were measured for juveniles of the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera transplanted to study sites in Southern California kelp forests between 1978 and 1982. Growth rates ranged from negative values (indicating loss of tissue) to 0.03 (doubling of total frond length every 19 d). Multiple regression analysis of growth versus irradiation, temperature, nitrogen concentration and amount of fouling revealed that all these factors had significant effects, together accounting for about 50% of the total variance. Elevated irradiation and nitrogen levels had strongly stimulatory effects (tissue nitrogen may have been more critical than ambient nitrogen for growth), while high temperature and fouling had strongly inhibitory effects. Irradiation was the most important factor influencing growth in 6 of the 8 transplant experiments. During these 6 experiments, the compensating irradiation level (below which there was no growth) was between 0.4 and 0.7 E m-2 d-1, and saturating irradiation was between 2 and 3 E m-2 d-1. During two of the experiments, growth was apparently limited by extremely high temperatures or low nitrogen levels. Quantum irradiation levels in the kelp forest were generally between the compensation and saturation levels. However, irradiation levels occasionally dropped below the compensation point for several months. Irradiation was occasionally low enough to limit the distribution of juvenile kelp by inhibiting growth, especially in the deeper portions of the kelp forest and under dense canopies formed by adult plants.


Relative Growth Rate Nitrogen Level Irradiation Level Kelp Forest Quantum Irradiation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Anderson, M. R., A. Cardinal and J. Larochelle: An alternate growth pattern for Laminaria longicruris. J. Phycol. 17, 405–411 (1981)Google Scholar
  2. Anonymous: The REG procedure. In: Statistical analysis system (SAS). 79.5 changes and enhancements, pp 10.1–10.58. Cary, North Carolina: SAS Institute, Inc. 1981Google Scholar
  3. Belsley, D. A., E. Kuh and R. E. Welsch: Regression diagnostics, 292 pp. New York: John Wiley & Sons 1980Google Scholar
  4. Chalker, B. E.: Simulating light-saturation curves for photosynthesis and calcification by reef-building corals. Mar. Biol. 63, 135–141 (1981)Google Scholar
  5. Chapman, A. R. O.: A critique of prevailing attitudes towards the control of seaweed zonation on the sea shore. Botanica mar. 16, 80–82 (1973)Google Scholar
  6. Chapman, A. R. O. and J. S. Craigie: Seasonal growth in Laminaria longicruris: relations with dissolved inorganic nutrients and internal reserves of nitrogen. Mar. Biol. 40, 197–205 (1977)Google Scholar
  7. Chapman, A. R. O. and J. S. Craigie: Seasonal growth in Laminaria longicruris relations with reserve carbohydrate storage and production. Mar. Biol. 46, 209–213 (1978)Google Scholar
  8. Chapman, A. R. O. and J. E. Lindley: Seasonal growth of Laminaria solidungula in the Canadian high arctic in relation to irradiance and dissolved nutrient concentrations. Mar. Biol. 57, 1–5 (1980)Google Scholar
  9. Clendenning, K. A.: Photosynthesis and general development in Macrocystis. Noya Hedwigia (Suppl.) 32, 169–190 (1971)Google Scholar
  10. Connell, J. H.: Effects of competition, predation by Thais lapillus, and other factors on the natural populations of the barnacle Balanus balanoides. Ecol. Monogr. 31, 61–104 (1961)Google Scholar
  11. Cook, R. E.: Patterns of juvenile mortality and recruiment in plants. In: Topics in plant population biology, pp 207–231. Ed. by O. T. Solbrig, S. Jain, G. B. Johnson and P. H. Raven. New York: Columbia University Press 1979Google Scholar
  12. Cowen, R. K., C. R. Agegian and M. S. Foster: The maintenance of community structure in a central California giant kelp forest. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 64, 189–201 (1982)Google Scholar
  13. Dayton, P. K., V. Currie, T. Gerrodette, B. Keller, R. Rosenthal and D. V. Tresca: Patch dynamics and stability of southern California kelp communities. Ecol. Monogr. 54, 253–289 (1984)Google Scholar
  14. Dayton, P. K. and M. J. Tegner: Catastrophic storms, El Niño, and patch stability in a southernCalifornia kelp community. Science, N.Y. 224, 283–285 (1984)Google Scholar
  15. Dean, T. A. and L. E. Deysher: The effects of suspended solids and thermal discharges on kelp. In: The effects of waste disposal on kelp communities, pp 114–135. Ed. by W. Bascom. Long Beach, California: Southern California Coastal Water Research Project 1983Google Scholar
  16. Dean, T. A., S. C. Schroeter and J. D. Dixon: Effects of grazing by two species of sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus and Lytechinus anamesus) on recruitment and survival of two species of kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera and Pterygophora californica). Mar. Biol. 78, 301–313 (1984)Google Scholar
  17. Devinny, J. S. and L. A. Volse: Effects of sediments on the development of Macrocystis pyrifera gametophytes. Mar. Biol. 48, 343–348 (1978)Google Scholar
  18. Deysher, L. and T. Norton: Dispersal and colonization in Sargassum muticum (Yendo) Fensholt. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 56, 179–195 (1982)Google Scholar
  19. Dixon, J. D., S. C. Schroeter and J. Kastendiek: Effects of the encrusting bryozoan, Membranipora membranacea, on the loss of blades and fronds by the giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera (Laminariales). J. Phycol. 17, 341–345 (1981)Google Scholar
  20. Foster, M. S.: Regulation of algal community development in a Macrocystis pyrifera forest. Mar. Biol. 32, 331–342 (1975)Google Scholar
  21. Foster, M. S.: The regulation of macroalgal associations in kelp forests. In: Synthetic and degradative processes in marine macrophytes, pp 185–205. Ed. by L. M. Srivastava. Berlin: de Gruyter 1982Google Scholar
  22. Foster, M. S., T. A. Dean and L. E. Deysher: Subtical techniques. In: Handbook of phycological methods: ecological field methods for macroalgae. Ed. by M. M. Littler. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (In press). 1984Google Scholar
  23. Gagné, J., K. H. Mann and A. R. O. Chapman: Seasonal patterns of growth and storage in Laminaria longicruris in relation to differing patterns of availability of nitrogen in the water. Mar. Biol. 69, 91–101 (1982)Google Scholar
  24. Gerard, V. A.: Growth and utilization of internal nitrogen reserves by the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera in a low-nitrogen environment. Mar. Biol. 66, 27–35 (1982a)Google Scholar
  25. Gerard, V. A.: In situ rates of nitrate uptake by giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera (L) C. G. Agardh: tissue differences, environmental effects and predictions of nitrogen-limited growth. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 62, 211–224 (1982b)Google Scholar
  26. Gerard, V. A. and K. H. Mann: Growth and production of Laminaria longicruris (Phaeophyta)populations exposed to different intensities of water movement. J. Phycol. 15, 33–41 (1979)Google Scholar
  27. Harper, J. L.: Population biology of plants, 892 pp. London: Academic Press 1977Google Scholar
  28. Hasegawa, Y. and Y. Sonbonsuga: Laboratory rearing of laminariaceous plants. In: Contributions to the systematics of the benthic marine algae of the north Pacific, pp.109–115. Ed. by I. A. Abbot and M. Kurogi. Japan: Japanese Society of Phycologists 1972Google Scholar
  29. Hruby, T. and T. A. Norton: Algal colonization of rocky shores in the Firth of Clyde. J. Ecol. 67, 65–77 (1979)Google Scholar
  30. Jackson, G. A.: Nutrients and production of giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, off southern California. Limnol. Oceanogr. 22, 979–995 (1977)Google Scholar
  31. Jassby, A. D. and T. Platt: Mathematical formation of the relationship between photosynthesis and light for phytoplankton. Limnol. Oceanogr. 21, 540–547 (1976)Google Scholar
  32. Kain, J. M.: Aspects of the biology of Laminaria hyperborea. III. Survival and growth of gametophytes, J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 44, 415–433 (1964)Google Scholar
  33. Kain, J. M.: Aspects of the biology of Laminaria hyperborea. IV. Growth of early sporophytes. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 45, 129–143 (1965)Google Scholar
  34. Kain, J. M.: The biology of Laminaria hyperborea. V. Comparison with early stages of competitors. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 49, 455–473 (1969)Google Scholar
  35. Lapointe, B. E. and K. R. Tenore: Experimental outdoor studies with Ulva fasciata. I: Interaction of light and nitrogen on growth and biochemical composition. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 53, 135–152 (1981)Google Scholar
  36. Leighton, D. L.: Grazing activities of benthic invertebrates in southern California kelp beds. Nova Hedwigia (Suppl.) 32, 421–453 (1971)Google Scholar
  37. Lobban, C. S.: The growth and death of the Macrocystis sporophyte (Phaeophycaea, Laminariales). Phycologia 17, 196–212 (1978a)Google Scholar
  38. Lobban, C. S.: Growth of Macrocystis integrifolia in Barkley Sound, Vancouver Island, B. C. Can. J. Bot. 56, 2707–2711 (1978b)Google Scholar
  39. Lüning, K.: Growth strategies of three Laminaria species (Phaeophyceae) inhabiting different depth zones in the sublittoral region of Helgoland (North Sea). Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 1, 195–207 (1979)Google Scholar
  40. Neushul, M.: The domestication of the giant kelp, Macrocystis, as a marine plant biomass producer. In: The marine biomass of the Pacific Northwest coast, pp 163–181. Ed. by R. Krauss. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press 1978Google Scholar
  41. Neushul, M.: The domestication and cultivation of California macroalgae. Proc. 10th int. Seaweed Symp. 10, 71–96 (1981). (Ed. by T. Levring. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter)Google Scholar
  42. Neushul, M. and F. T. Haxo: Studies on the giant kelp, Macrocystis. I. Growth of young plants. Am. J. Bot. 50, 349–353 (1963)Google Scholar
  43. North, W. J.: Integration of environmental conditions by a marine organism. In: Pollution and marine ecology, pp 195–222. Ed. by T. A. Olsen and F. J. Burgess. New York: Wiley Interscience 1967Google Scholar
  44. North, W. J.: Growth of individual fronds of the mature giant kelp, Macrocystis. Nova Hedwigia (Suppl.)32, 123–168 (1971)Google Scholar
  45. North, W. J.: Observation on populations of Macrocystis. In: Contributions to the systematics of the benthic marine algae of the north Pacific, pp 75–92. Ed. by I. A. Abbot and M. Kurogi. Japan: Japanese Society of Phycologists 1972Google Scholar
  46. North, W. J., V. Gerard and J. Kuwabara: Farming Macrocystis at coastal and oceanic sites. In: Synthetic and degradive processes in marine macrophytes, pp 247–262. Ed. by L. M. Srivastava. Berlin: de Gruyter 1982Google Scholar
  47. North, W. J. and M. B. Schaefer: An investigation of the effects of discharged wastes on kelp. Publs Calif. St. Wat. Qual. Control Bd 26, 1–124 (1964)Google Scholar
  48. Norton, T.: The factors influencing the distribution of Saccorhiza polyshides in the region of Lough Ine. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 58, 527–536 (1978)Google Scholar
  49. Rhee, G. Y. and I. J. Gotham: The effect of environmental factors on phytoplankton growth: light and the interactions of light with nitrate limitation. Limnol. Oceanogr.26, 649–659 (1981)Google Scholar
  50. Ricker, W. E.: Computation and interpretation of biological statistics of fish populations. Bull. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 191, 1–382 (1975)Google Scholar
  51. Rosenthal, R. J., W. D. Clarke and P. K. Dayton: Ecology and natural history of a stand of giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, off Del Mar, California. Fish. Bull. U.S. 72, 670–684 (1974)Google Scholar
  52. Sokal, R. R. and F. J. Rohlf: Biometry. The principles and practice of statistics in biological research, 776 pp. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman & Co. 1969Google Scholar
  53. Vadas, R.: Ecological implications of culture studies on Nereocystis luetkeana. J. Phycol. 8, 196–203 (1972)Google Scholar
  54. Wheeler, P. A. and W. J. North: Nitrogen supply, tissue composition and frond growth rates for Macrocystis pyrifera off the coast of Southern California. Mar. Biol. 64, 59–69 (1981a)Google Scholar
  55. Wheeler, P. A. and W. J. North: Effect of nitrogen supply on nitrogen content and growth rate of juvenileMacrocystis pyrifera (Phaeophyta) sporophytes. J. Phycol. 16, 577–582 (1981b)Google Scholar
  56. Wing, B. L. and K. A. Clendenning: Kelp surfacesand associated invertebrates. Nova Hedwigia (Suppl.) 32, 319–341 (1971)Google Scholar
  57. Zimmerman, R. C.: Seasonal patterns in productivity of a giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) forest: the effect of nutrient availability, 182 pp. Ph. D. dissertation, University of Southern California 1983Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. A. Dean
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. R. Jacobsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Science InstituteUniversity of California at Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA
  2. 2.Kelp Ecology ProjectEncinitasUSA

Personalised recommendations