Stipe Length as an Indicator of Reproductive Maturity in the Kelp Ecklonia cava

  • Sangil Kim
  • Suk Hyun Youn
  • Hyun-Ju Oh
  • Sun Kyeong Choi
  • Yun Hee Kang
  • Tae-Hoon Kim
  • Hyuk Je Lee
  • Kwang-Sik Choi
  • Sang Rul Park
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Abstract

We conducted testing to determine whether stipe length is a useful indicator of reproductive maturity in the kelp Ecklonia cava, a species that plays a pivotal role in ecosystem functioning and services in subtidal areas. Approximately 100 sporophytes with stipes of various lengths were collected during the fertile period (July–November, 2013). We investigated the relationships between stipe length and other morphological characteristics to determine whether stipe length could indicate the age of reproductive maturity. Primary blade length, longest blade length, thallus height, and total length showed significant relationships with stipe length. The length of the primary and longest blades gradually declined as stipe length increased above 125 mm. Zoosporangial sori were found on the blades of more than 70% of individuals with stipes longer than 125 mm, but on only 8% of individuals with stipes less than 125 mm long. Stipe length therefore seems to be an acceptable proxy for reproductive maturity. Another factor to consider, however, is that all specimens with zoosporangial sori, regardless of stipe length, had a dry weight of 80 g or more; thus, individual biomass may also be an important parameter influencing the initiation of reproduction.

Keywords

Ecklonia cava individual biomass morphology reproductive maturity stipe length 

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Copyright information

© Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST) and the Korean Society of Oceanography (KSO) and Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sangil Kim
    • 1
  • Suk Hyun Youn
    • 1
  • Hyun-Ju Oh
    • 1
  • Sun Kyeong Choi
    • 2
  • Yun Hee Kang
    • 3
  • Tae-Hoon Kim
    • 3
  • Hyuk Je Lee
    • 4
  • Kwang-Sik Choi
    • 5
  • Sang Rul Park
    • 2
  1. 1.Ocean Climate & Ecology Research DivisionNational Institute of Fisheries ScienceBusanKorea
  2. 2.Estuarine & Coastal Ecology Laboratory, Department of Marine Life SciencesJeju National UniversityJejuKorea
  3. 3.Department of Earth and Marine Sciences, College of Ocean SciencesJeju National UniversityJejuKorea
  4. 4.Department of Biological ScienceSangji UniversityWonjuKorea
  5. 5.School of Marine Biomedical Science (BK21 PLUS)Jeju National UniversityJejuKorea

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