Spatial and temporal variation in distribution of Gelidium canariensis (Rhodophyta) from natural populations of the Canary Islands

  • A. Lindgren
  • N. Bouza
  • P. Åberg
  • P. A. Sosa


This study was designed to investigate spatial and temporal variation in Gelidium canariensis populations at two shores in northern Gran Canaria during two years. Spatial scales ranged from some hundred meters (distance between shores), 10 to 30 m (distance between plots) to less than 3 m (distance between quadrats). Gelidium individuals were defined as distinct Gelidium clumps. The results show a significant difference in size of clumps between shores, but not on the smaller spatial scales. No significant temporal variation was found. There was no significant temporal or spatial variation in standing crop or density (counts made in quadrats where Gelidium was present, rather than counts for the total shore). Sporophytic and gametophytic clumps were also distinguished by identifying reproductive structures in the field. The total proportion of sporophytes was larger than the proportion of gametophytes, but at a smaller scale there could be a shift in dominance. The survival rate of clumps was similar between shores with a mean survival rate of 85%, but there was a significant difference in recruitment between shores. The results indicate a stable population structure.

Canary Islands Gelidium canariensis hierarchical spatial variation temporal variation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Lindgren
    • 1
  • N. Bouza
    • 2
  • P. Åberg
    • 1
  • P. A. Sosa
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Marine BotanyGöteborg UniversityGöteborgSweden
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of Las Palmas, Campus Universitario TafiraCanary IslandsSpain

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