Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 2, pp 537–552

Microalgal communities epibiontic on the marine hydroid Eudendrium racemosum in the Ligurian Sea during an annual cycle

  • Tiziana Romagnoli
  • Giorgio Bavestrello
  • Emellina M. Cucchiari
  • Mario De Stefano
  • Cristina G. Di Camillo
  • Chiara Pennesi
  • Stefania Puce
  • Cecilia Totti
Research Article


The microalgal community associated with Eudendrium racemosum, a marine hydroid widely distributed in the Mediterranean Sea, was studied during an annual cycle, at monthly frequency, in a coastal station of the Ligurian Sea. Microalgae were represented mainly by diatoms, which exhibited higher abundance and biomass values between autumn and spring (max 46,752 cells mm−2 and 1.94 μg C mm−2, respectively), while during summer a significant decrease was observed (min 917 cells mm−2 and 0.013 μg C mm−2). High levels of abundance of filamentous cyanobacteria were observed in summer. Spatial distribution of epibiontic microalgae showed a markedly increasing gradient from the basal to the apical part of hydroid colonies. Considering the growth forms of diatom communities, motile diatoms (mainly small naviculoid taxa) were the most abundant in all the periods. Adnate (Amphora and Cocconeis spp.) were distributed mainly in the basal and central part of hydroid colonies and showed two peaks (autumn and summer). Erect forms (mainly Tabularia tabulata, Licmophora spp., Cyclophora tenuis) were mainly distributed in the apical part of the colonies and showed their maximum densities in spring–summer. Tube-dwelling (Berkeleya rutilans, Parlibellus sp.) were observed at low densities throughout the study period, without any significant temporal or spatial variability. Comparing the microalgal communities on marine hydroid to those grown on mimic substrata placed in the sampling station during summer, significantly higher values of abundance were observed in the hydroid, suggesting that microalgae may benefit from the polyp catabolites. This fact was particularly evident for the adnate diatoms, whose temporal trend paralleled the cycle of hydroid host.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tiziana Romagnoli
    • 1
  • Giorgio Bavestrello
    • 1
  • Emellina M. Cucchiari
    • 1
  • Mario De Stefano
    • 2
  • Cristina G. Di Camillo
    • 1
  • Chiara Pennesi
    • 1
  • Stefania Puce
    • 1
  • Cecilia Totti
    • 1
  1. 1.Università Politecnica delle MarcheAnconaItaly
  2. 2.Università di Napoli NapoliItaly

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