Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 5, pp 1831–1838 | Cite as

Restricted host use by the herbivorous amphipod Peramphithoe tea is motivated by food quality and abiotic refuge

  • Erik E. Sotka
Research Article

Abstract

There is a growing list of marine invertebrate herbivores known to restrict their host choices to a subset of available species, yet the relative importance of the evolutionary forces that select for specialized feeding habits remain unclear. One such specialist is the gammaridean amphipod Peramphithoe tea (F. Ampithoidae) that restricts its distribution to the brown laminarian seaweed Egregia menziesii in Oregon. A field survey indicated that among available seaweeds in the low intertidal zone of Boiler Bay, Oregon, Egregia housed greater than 90% of P. tea individuals. A set of laboratory-based habitat and feeding choice assays revealed that this specialized host distribution is likely the consequence of choices made by adult P. tea. The restricted host choice is apparently maintained by at least two evolutionary forces. First, a juvenile performance assay indicates that both Egregia and the co-occurring seaweed Alaria marginata, provide high food quality relative to other seaweeds available in the low-intertidal zone. Second, a field transplantation experiment revealed that Egregia protects adult amphipods from becoming dislodged with wave energy more readily than did Alaria. Thus, Egregia’s value as good quality food and refuge from abiotic stress together explain the restricted host use of P. tea. A comparison with previous studies suggests that use of Egregia is not consistent across the geographic range of P. tea, suggesting the possibility that the host preferences of local populations may respond evolutionarily to geographic shifts in seaweed communities.

Keywords

Ulva Wave Force Brown Seaweed High Food Quality Brood Pouch 
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.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Thanks to Steve Palumbi, and Bruce Menge, Jane Lubchenco and their laboratory for logistical support. I appreciate the thoughtful comments of two anonymous reviewers. This is Grice Publication Number 300 and was supported in part by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Science Foundation (OCE-0550245).

References

  1. Bernays E, Chapman R (1994) Host-plant selection by phytophagous insects. Chapman and Hall, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Black R (1976) The effects of grazing by the limpet, Acmaea incessa, on the kelp, Egregia laevigata, in the intertidal zone. Ecology 57:267–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blanchette CA, Miner BG, Gaines SD (2002) Geographic variability in form, size, and survival of Egregia menziesii around point conception, California. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 239:69–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burnaford JL (2004) Habitat modification and refuge from sublethal stress drive a marine plant-herbivore association. Ecology 85:2837–2849CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Buschmann AH (1990) Intertidal macroalgae as refuge and food for amphipoda in central Chile. Aquat Bot 36:237–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Conlan KE, Bousfield EL (1982) The amphipod superfamily Corophioidea in the northeastern Pacific region, family Ampithoidae: systematics and distributional ecology. Publ Biol Oceanogr Natl Mus Can 10:41–75Google Scholar
  7. Cruz-Rivera E, Hay ME (2001) Macroalgal traits and the feeding and fitness of an herbivorous amphipod: the roles of selectivity, mixing, and compensation. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 218:249–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cruz-Rivera E, Paul VJ (2006) Feeding by coral reef mesograzers: algae or cyanobacteria? Coral Reefs 25:617–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. D’Antonio C (1985) Epiphytes on the rocky intertidal red alga Rhodomela larix (Turner) C. Agardh: negative effects on the host and food for herbivores? J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 86:197–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Duffy JE, Hay ME (1991) Food and shelter as determinants of food choice by an herbivorous marine amphipod. Ecology 72:1286–1298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Edgar GJ (1983a) The ecology of south–east Tasmanian phytal animal communities. IV. Factors affecting the distribution of ampithoid amphipods among algae. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 70:205–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Edgar GJ (1983b) The ecology of south–east Tasmanian phytal animal communities. I. Spatial organization on a local scale. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 70:129–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Edgar GJ (1993) Measurement of the carrying capacity of benthic habitats using a metabolic-rate based index. Oecologia 95:115–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fincham AA (1970) Amphipods in the surf plankton. J Mar Biol Ass UK 50:177–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Friedland MT, Denny MW (1995) Surviving hydrodynamic forces in a wave-swept environment: consequences of morphology in the feather boa kelp, Egregia menziesii (Turner). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 190:109–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gunnill FC (1982) Macroalgae as habitat patch islands for Scutellidium lamellipes (Copepoda: Harpacticoida) and Ampithoe tea (Amphipoda: Gammaridae). Mar Biol 69:103–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gunnill FC (1983) Seasonal variations in the invertebrate faunas of Pelvetia fastigiata (Fucaceae): effects of plant size and distribution. Mar Biol 73:115–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gunnill FC (1984) Differing distributions of potentially competing amphipods, copepods and gastropods among specimens of the intertidal alga. Mar Biol 82:277–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hacker SD, Steneck RS (1990) Habitat architecture and the abundance and body-size-dependent habitat selection of a phytal amphipod. Ecology 71:2269–2285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hay ME (1992) The role of seaweed chemical defenses in the evolution of feeding specialization and in the mediation of complex interactions. In: Paul V (ed) Ecological roles of marine natural products. Comstock Publishing, IthacaGoogle Scholar
  21. Hay ME, Duffy JE, Pfister CA, Fenical W (1987) Chemical defense against different marine herbivores: are amphipods insect equivalents? Ecology 68:1567–1580CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hay ME, Fenical W (1988) Marine plant-herbivore interactions: the ecology of chemical defense. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 19:111–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hay ME, Steinberg PD, Fenical W (1992) The chemical ecology of plant-herbivore interactions in marine versus terrestrial communities. Chemical mediation of seaweed-herbivore interactions. Syst Assoc Spec 46:319–337Google Scholar
  24. Holmlund MB, Peterson CH, Hay ME (1990) Does algal morphology affect amphipod susceptibility to fish predation? J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 139:65–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jensen KR (1997) Evolution of the Sacoglossa (Mollusca, Opisthobranchia) and the ecological associations with their food plants. Evol Ecol 11:301–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kotta J, Torn K, Martin G, Orav-Kotta H, Paalme T (2004) Seasonal variation in invertebrate grazing on Chara connivens and C-tomentosa in Koiguste Bay, NE Baltic Sea. Helgoland Mar Res 58:71–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Krug P (2001) Bet-hedging dispersal strategy of a specialist marine herbivore: a settlement dimorphism among sibling larvae of Alderia modesta. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 213:177–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mackay T, Doyle R (1978) An ecological genetic analysis of the settling behavior of a marine polychaete: I. Probability of settlement and gregarious behavior. Heredity 40:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Moore PG (1978) Turbidity and kelp holdfast Amphipoda: I. Wales and S.W. England. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 32:53–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Nelson WG (1979) Experimental studies of selective predation on amphipods: consequences for amphipod distribution and abundance. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 38:225–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nicotri ME (1980) Factors involved in herbivore food preference. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 42:13–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nielsen KJ (2001) Bottom-up and top-down forces in tide pools: test of a food chain model in an intertidal community. Ecol Monogr 71:187–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Norderhaug KM (2004) Use of red algae as hosts by kelp-associated amphipods. Mar Biol 144:225–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Poore AB (2004) Spatial associations among algae affect host use in a herbivorous marine amphipod. Oecologia 140:104–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Poore AGB, Steinberg PD (1999) Preference-performance relationships and effects of host plant choice in an herbivorous marine amphipod. Ecol Monogr 69:443–464Google Scholar
  36. Poore AGB, Steinberg PD (2001) Host-plant adaptation in an herbivorous marine amphipod: genetic potential not realized in field populations. Evolution 55:68–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Poore AGB, Watson MJ, de Nys R, Lowry JK, Steinberg PD (2000) Patterns of host use among alga- and sponge-associated amphipods. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 208:183–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Roa R (1992) Design and analysis of multiple-choice feeding-preference experiments. Oecologia 89:509–515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sotka EE (2005) Local adaptation in host use among marine invertebrates. Ecol Lett 8:448–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sotka EE, Hay ME (2002) Geographic variation among herbivore populations in tolerance for a chemically-rich seaweed. Ecology 83:2721–2735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sotka EE, Hay ME, Thomas JD (1999) Host-plant specialization by a non-herbivorous amphipod: advantages for the amphipod and costs for the seaweed. Oecologia 118:471–482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sotka EE, Wares JP, Hay ME (2003) Geographic and genetic variation in feeding preference for chemically defended seaweeds. Evolution 57:2262–2276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Steinberg PD, Estes JA, Winter FC (1995) Evolutionary consequences of food-chain length in Kelp Forest communities. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 92:8145–8148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Steneck RS, Watling L (1982) Feeding capabilities and limitation of herbivorous molluscs: a functional group approach. Mar Biol 68:299–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Taylor RB, Brown PJ (2006) Herbivory in the gammarid amphipod Aora typica: relationships between consumption rates, performance and abundance across ten seaweed species. Mar Biol 149:455–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Taylor RB, Steinberg PD (2005) Host use by Australasian seaweed mesograzers in relation to feeding preferences of larger grazers. Ecology 86:2955–2967CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Trowbridge CD (1991) Diet specialization limits herbiorous sea slug’s capacity to switch among food species. Ecology 72:1880–1888CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Trowbridge CD, Todd CD (2001) Host-plant change in marine specialist herbivores: Ascoglossan sea slugs on introduced macroalgae. Ecol Monogr 71:219–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Van Alstyne KL, Houser LT (2003) Dimethylsulfide release during macroinvertebrate grazing and its role as an activated chemical defense. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 250:175–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Van Alstyne KL, McCarthy JJ, Hustead CL, Kearns LJ (1999) Phlorotannin allocation among tissues of northeastern pacific kelps and rockweeds. J Phycol 35:483–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Viejo RM (1999) Mobile epifauna inhabiting the invasive Sargassum muticum and two local seaweeds in northern Spain. Aquat Bot 64:131–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Grice Marine Laboratory and Department of BiologyCollege of CharlestonCharlestonUSA

Personalised recommendations