Macroalgae in Tropical Marine Coastal Systems

  • Astrid Y. Mejia
  • Gregory N. Puncher
  • Aschwin H. Engelen
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 219)


Tropical coastal marine systems inhabited by macroalgae can typically be categorized as coral reefs, seagrass meadows, or mangrove forests. The role of macroalgae in these systems is fundamentally different from temperate systems, as other primary producers generally act as the dominant habitat providers. However, macroalgae do provide essential ecosystem services such as the reduction of nutrients, provision of food, and spatial refuge for predator and prey alike. In seagrass beds, they can be highly productive and may help to stabilize pH levels. Their role within mangrove systems is highly variable across regions and their contribution to trophic food webs and nutrient cycling is likely significant. Through competition and grazing, the biomass of macroalgae is reduced in most healthy tropical ecosystems. Macroalgae are a critical component of healthy tropical marine habitats; however, their unchecked growth can lead to complete regime shifts, thereby threatening the stability and welfare of the entire coastal system.


Coral Reef Photosynthetically Active Radiation Dissolve Inorganic Nitrogen Soluble Reactive Phosphorus Seagrass Meadow 
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.


  1. Adey WH, Steneck R (1985) Highly productive Eastern Caribbean reefs: synergistic effects of biological, chemical, physical, and geological factors. In: Reaka M (ed) The ecology of coral reefs, vol 3. NOAA Symposia Series for Undersea Research, Rockville, pp 163–187Google Scholar
  2. Adey WH, Vassar JM (1975) Colonization, succession and growth rates of tropical crustose coralline algae (Rhodophyta, Cryptonemiales). Phycologia 14:55–69Google Scholar
  3. Adjeroud M, Michonneau F, Edmunds PJ, Chancerelle Y, Lison de Loma T, Penin L, Thibaut L, Vidal-Dupiol J, Salvat B, Galzin R (2009) Recurrent disturbances, recovery trajectories, and resilience of coral assemblages on a South Central Pacific reef. Coral Reefs 28:775–780Google Scholar
  4. Albins MA, Hixon MA (2008) Invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish Pterois volitans reduce recruitment of Atlantic coral-reef fishes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 367:233–238Google Scholar
  5. Alfaro AC (2008) Diet of Littoraria scabra, while vertically migrating on mangrove trees: gut content, fatty acid, and stable isotope analyses. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 79:718–726Google Scholar
  6. Alongi DM (1998) Coastal ecosystem processes. CRC, New York, p 419Google Scholar
  7. Amsler CD (2008) Algal chemical ecology. Springer, Berlin, p 313Google Scholar
  8. Armitage AR, Frankovich TA, Heck KL Jr, Fourqurean JW (2005) Experimental nutrient enrichment causes complex changes in seagrass, microalgae, and macroalgae community structure in Florida Bay. Estuaries 28:422–434Google Scholar
  9. Aterweberhan M, Bruggemann JH, Breeman AM (2006) Effects of extreme seasonality on community structure and functional group dynamics of coral reef algae in the southern Red Sea (Eritrea). Coral Reefs 25:391–406Google Scholar
  10. Baggett LP, Heck KL Jr, Frankovich TA, Armitage AR, Fourqurean JW (2010) Nutrient enrichment, grazer identity, and their effects on epiphytic algal assemblages: field experiments in subtropical turtlegrass Thalassia testudinum meadows. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 406:33–45Google Scholar
  11. Barbour AB, Montgomery ML, Adamson AA, Díaz-Ferguson E, Silliman BR (2010) Mangrove use by the invasive lionfish Pterois volitans. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 401:291–294Google Scholar
  12. Beer S, Mtolera M, Lyimo T, Bjork M (2006) The photosynthetic performance of the tropical seagrassHalophila ovalis in the upper intertidal. Aquat Bot 84:367–371Google Scholar
  13. Bell PRF (1992) Eutrophication and coral reefs: some examples in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. Water Res 26:553–568Google Scholar
  14. Bell PRF, Lapointe BE, Elmetri I (2007) Reevaluation of ENCORE: Support for the eutrophication threshold model for coral reefs. Ambio 36:416–424PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Berner T (1990) Coral reef algae. In: Dubinsky Z (ed) Ecosystems of the world, vol 25. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 253–264Google Scholar
  16. Biber PD (2007) Transport and persistence of drifting macroalgae (Rhodophyta) are strongly influenced by flow velocity and substratum complexity in tropical seagrass habitats. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 343:115–122Google Scholar
  17. Birrell CL, McCook LJ, Willis BL (2005) Effects of algal turfs and sediment on coral settlement. Mar Pollut Bull 51:408–414PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Bischof K, Gómez I, Molis M, Hanelt D, Karsten U, Lüder U, Roleda MY, Zacher K, Wiencke C (2006) Ultraviolet radiation shapes seaweed communities. Rev Environ Sci Biotechnol 5:141–166Google Scholar
  19. Bishop MJ, Morgan T, Coleman MA, Kelaher BP, Hardstaff LK, Evenden RW (2009) Facilitation of molluscan assemblages in mangroves by the fucalean alga Hormosira banksii. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 392:111–122Google Scholar
  20. Bittick SJ, Bilotti ND, Peterson HA, Stewart HL (2010) Turbinaria ornata as an herbivory refuge for associate algae. Mar Biol 157:317–323Google Scholar
  21. Blunt JW, Copp BR, Hu W-P, Munro MHG, Northcote PT, Prinsep MR (2007) Marine natural products. Nat Prod Rep 24:31–86PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Bouillon S, Raman AV, Dauby P, Dehairs F (2002) Carbon and Nitrogen stable isotope ratios of subtidal benthic invertebrates in an estuarine mangrove ecosystem (Andhra Pradesh, India). Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 54:901–913Google Scholar
  23. Bouillon S, Connolly RM, Lee SY (2008) Organic matter exchange and cycling in mangrove ecosystems: Recent insights from stable isotope studies. J Sea Res 59:44–58Google Scholar
  24. Box SJ, Mumby PJ (2007) Effects of macroalgal competition on growth and survival of juvenile Caribbean corals. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 342:139–149Google Scholar
  25. Boyer KE, Fong P, Armitage AR, Cohen RA (2004) Elevated nutrient content of tropical macroalgae increases rates of herbivory in coral, seagrass, and mangrove habitats. Coral Reefs 23:530–538Google Scholar
  26. Breeman AM (1988) Relative importance of temperature and other factors in determining geographic boundaries of seaweeds: experimental and phenological evidence. Helgol Mar Res 42:199–241Google Scholar
  27. Bruggemann JH, van Oppen MJH, Breeman AM (1994) Foraging by the stoplight parrotfish Sparisoma viride I. Food selection in different socially determined habitats. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 106:41–55Google Scholar
  28. Burkepile DE, Hay ME (2010) Impact of herbivore Identity on algal succession and coral growth on a Caribbean Reef. PLoS One 5:e8963. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008963 PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Cardosoa PG, Pardal MA, Lillebø AI, Ferreira SM, Raffaelli D, Marques JC (2004) Dynamic changes in seagrass assemblages under eutrophication and implications for recovery. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 302:233–248Google Scholar
  30. Carpenter RC (1986) Partitioning herbivory and its effects on coral reef algae communities. Ecol Monogr 56:345–363Google Scholar
  31. Carpenter RC, Hackney JM, Adey WH (1985) Measurements of primary productivity and nitrogenase activity of coral reef algae in a chamber incorporating oscillatory flow. Limnol Oceanogr 36:40–49Google Scholar
  32. Coles SL, Fadlalah YH (1991) Reef coral survival and mortality at low temperatures in the Arabian Gulf: new species-specific lower temperature limits. Coral Reefs 9:231–237Google Scholar
  33. Collado-Vides L, Caccia VG, Boyer JN, Fourqurean JW (2007) Tropical seagrass-associated macroalgae distributions and trends relative to water quality. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 73:680–694Google Scholar
  34. Connell JH (1978) Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefs. Science 199:1302–1310PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Cvitanovic C, Bellwood DR (2009) Local variation in herbivore feeding activity on an inshore reef of the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 28:127–133Google Scholar
  36. de la Torre-Castro M, Eklöf JS, Rönnbäck P, Björk M (2008) Seagrass importance in food provisioning services: fish stomach content as a link between seagrass meadows and local fisheries. West Indian Ocean J Mar Sci 7:95–110Google Scholar
  37. Delgado O, Lapointe BE (1994) Nutrient-limited production of calcareous versus fleshy macroalgae in a eutrophic, carbonate- rich tropical marine environment. Coral Reefs 13:151–159Google Scholar
  38. Diaz MC, Rützler K (2009) Biodiversity and abundance of sponges in Caribbean Mangrove: indicators of environmental quality. Smithsonian Contrib Zool 38:151–172Google Scholar
  39. Diaz-Pulido G, McCook LJ, Larkum AWD, Lotze HK, Raven JA, Schaffelke B, Smith JE, Steneck RS (2007) Vulnerability of macroalgae of the great barrier reef to climate change. In: Marshall PA, Johnson J (eds) Climate change and the great barrier reef. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville, pp 153–192Google Scholar
  40. Dixon LK (2000) Establishing light requirements for the seagrassThalassia testudinum: an example from Tampa Bay, Florida. In: Bortone SA (ed) Seagrasses: monitoring, ecology, physiology and management. CRC, Boca Raton, pp 9–31Google Scholar
  41. Dorenbosch M, Grol MGG, Christianen MJA, Nagelkerken I, van der Velde G (2005) Indo-Pacific seagrass beds and mangroves contribute to fish density and diversity on adjacent coral reefs. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 302:63–76Google Scholar
  42. Duffy JE, Hay ME (1990) Seaweed adaptations to herbivory. Bioscience 40:368–375Google Scholar
  43. Fabricius K, Dea’th G (2001) Environmental factors associated with the spatial distribution of crustose coralline algae on the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 19:303–309Google Scholar
  44. Ferdie M, Fourqurean JW (2004) Responses of seagrass communities to fertilization along a gradient of relative availability of nitrogen and phosphorus in a carbonate environment. Limnol Oceanogr 49:2082–2094Google Scholar
  45. Figueroa FL, Salles S, Aguilera J, Jiménez C, Mercado J, Viñegla B, Flores-Moya A, Altamirano M (1997) Effects of solar radiation on photoinhibition and pigmentation in the red alga Porphyra leucosticta. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 151:81–90Google Scholar
  46. Figueroa FL, Martínez B, Israel A, Neori A, Malta E, Ang P Jr, Inken S, Marquardt R, Rachamim T, Arazi U, Frenk S, Korbee N (2009) Acclimation of Red Sea macroalgae to solar radiation: photosynthesis and thallus absorptance. Aquat Biol 7:159–172Google Scholar
  47. Fong P, Paul VJ (2011) Coral reef algae. In: Dubinsky Z, Stambler N (eds) Coral reefs: an ecosystem in transition. Springer, New York, pp 241–272Google Scholar
  48. Fong P, Kamer K, Boyer KE, Boyle KA (2001) Nutrient content of macroalgae with differing morphologies may indicate sources of nutrients to tropical marine systems. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 220:137–152Google Scholar
  49. Fong P, Boyer KE, Kamer K, Boyle KA (2003) Influence of initial tissue nutrient status of tropical marine algae on response to nitrogen and phosphorus additions. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 262:111–123Google Scholar
  50. Fong P, Smith TB, Wartian MJ (2006) Epiphytic cyanobacteria maintain shifts to macroalgal dominance on coral reefs following enso disturbance. Ecology 87:1162–1168PubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Foster NL, Box SJ, Mumby PJ (2008) Competitive effects of macroalgae on the fecundity of the reef-building coral Montastraea annularis. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 367:143–152Google Scholar
  52. Fourqurean JW, Rutten LM (2004) The impact of Hurricane Georges on soft-bottom, back reef communities: site and species-specific effects in South Florida seagrass beds. Bull Mar Sci 75(2):239–257Google Scholar
  53. Fricke A, Teichberg M, Beilfuss S, Bischof K (2011) Succession patterns of turf algal communities in a Caribbean coral reef. Bot Mar 54:111–126Google Scholar
  54. Gross EM, Erhard D, Ivanyi E (2003) Allelopathic activity of Ceratophyllum demersum L. and Najas marina sspp. Intermedia (Wolgang) Casper. Hydrobiologia 506–509:583–589Google Scholar
  55. Hanelt D, Roleda MY (2009) UVB radiation may ameliorate photoinhibition in specific shallow-water tropical marine macrophytes. Aquat Bot 91:6–12Google Scholar
  56. Hatcher BG (1988) Coral reef primary productivity: a beggar’s banquet. Trends Ecol Evol 3:106–111PubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Hauxwell J, Cebrián J, Valiela I (2003) Eelgrass Zostera marina loss in temperate estuaries: relationship to land-derived nitrogen loads and effect of light limitation imposed by algae. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 247:59–73Google Scholar
  58. Hay ME (1981) The functional morphology of turf-forming seaweeds: persistence in stressful marine habitats. Ecology 62(3):739–750Google Scholar
  59. Hay ME (1997) The ecology and evolution of seaweed-herbivore interactions on coral reefs. Coral Reefs 16:67–76Google Scholar
  60. Hixon MA, Brostoff WN (1996) Succession and herbivory: effects of differential fish grazing on Hawaiian coral-reef algae. Ecol Monogr 66:67–90Google Scholar
  61. Hoey AS, Bellwood DR (2010) Cross-shelf variation in browsing intensity on the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 29:499–508Google Scholar
  62. Holmer M, Nielsen RM (2007) Effects of filamentous algal mats on sulfide invasion in eelgrass (Zostera marina). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 353:245–252Google Scholar
  63. Houk P, Camacho R (2010) Dynamics of seagrass and macroalgal assemblages in Saipan Lagoon, Western Pacific Ocean: disturbances, pollution, and seasonal cycles. Bot Mar 53:205–212Google Scholar
  64. Houk P, van Woesik R (2008) Dynamics of shallow-water assemblages in the Saipan Lagoon. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 356:39–50Google Scholar
  65. Hughes TP (1994) Catastrophes, phase shifts, and large-scale degradation of a Caribbean coral reef. Science 265:1547–1551PubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Hughes TP, Rodrigues MJ, Bellwood DR, Ceccarelli D, Hoegh-Guldberg O, McCook LJ, Moltschaniwskyj N, Pratchett MS, Steneck RS, Willis B (2007) Phase shifts, herbivory, and the resilience of coral reefs to climate change. Curr Biol 17:360–365PubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Invers O, Kraemer GP, Pérez M, Romero J (2004) Effects of nitrogen addition on nitrogen metabolism and carbon reserves in the temperate seagrassPosidonia oceanica. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 303:97–114Google Scholar
  68. Jompa J, McCook LJ (2002) Effects of competition and herbivory on interactions between a hard coral and a brown alga. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 271:25–39Google Scholar
  69. Jompa J, McCook LJ (2003) Coral-algal competition: macroalgae with different properties have different effects on corals. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 258:87–95Google Scholar
  70. Kennison RL (2008) Evaluating ecosystem function of nutrient retention and recycling in excessively eutrophic estuaries. PhD Dissertation. University of California, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  71. Kerswell AP (2006) Global biodiversity patterns of benthic marine algae. Ecology 87:2479–2488PubMedGoogle Scholar
  72. Kieckbusch DK, Koch MS, Serafy JE, Anderson WT (2004) Trophic linkages among primary producers and consumers in fringing mangroves of subtropical lagoons. Bull Mar Sci 74:271–285Google Scholar
  73. Koch MS, Madden CJ (2001) Patterns of primary production and nutrient availability in a Bahamas lagoon with fringing mangroves. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 219:109–119Google Scholar
  74. Konar B, Iken K, Cruz-Motta JJ et al (2010) Current patterns of macroalgal diversity and biomass in northern hemisphere rocky shores. PLoS One 5:e13195. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013195 PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  75. Kopecky AL, Dunton KH (2006) Variability in drift macroalgal abundance in relation to biotic and abiotic factors in two seagrass dominated estuaries in the Western Gulf of Mexico. Estuar Coasts 29(4):617–629Google Scholar
  76. Kopp D, Bouchon-Navarro Y, Cordonnier S, Haouisee ML, Bouchon C (2010) Evaluation of algal regulation by herbivorous fishes on Caribbean coral reefs. Helgol Mar Res 64:181–190Google Scholar
  77. Kristensen E (2008) Mangrove crabs as ecosystem engineers; with emphasis on sediment processes. J Sea Res 59:30–43Google Scholar
  78. Kuffner IB, Walters LJ, Becerro MA, Paul VJ, Ritson-Williams R, Beach K (2006) Inhibition of coral recruitment by macroalgae and cyanobacteria. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 323:107–117Google Scholar
  79. Lapointe BE (1997) Nutrient thresholds for bottom-up control of macroalgal blooms on coral reefs in Jamaica and southeast Florida. Limnol Oceanogr 42:1119–1131Google Scholar
  80. LaPointe BE, Littler MM, Littler DS (1987) A comparison of nutrient-limited productivity in macroalgae from a Caribbean barrier reef and from a mangrove ecosystem. Aquat Bot 28:243–255Google Scholar
  81. Lapointe BE, Littler MM, Littler DS (1992) Nutrient availability to marine macroalgae in siliciclastic versus carbonate-rich coastal waters. Estuaries 15:75–82Google Scholar
  82. Lapointe BE, Barile PJ, Matzie WR (2004) Anthropogenic nutrient enrichment of seagrass and coral reef communities in the Lower Florida Keys: discrimination of local versus regional nitrogen sources. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 308:23–58Google Scholar
  83. Lirman D (2001) Competition between macroalgae and corals: effects of herbivore exclusion and increased algal biomass on coral survivorship and growth. Coral Reefs 19:392–399Google Scholar
  84. Littler MM, Littler DS (1984) A relative-dominance model for biotic reefs. In: Proceedings of the joint meeting of the Atlantic reef committee society of reef studies, Miami, 1984Google Scholar
  85. Littler MM, Littler DS (1988) Structure and role of algae in tropical reef communities. In: Lembi CA, Waaland JR (eds) Algae and human affairs. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 29–56Google Scholar
  86. Littler MM, Littler DS (2006) Review: assessment of coral reefs using herbivory/nutrient assays and indicator groups of benthic primary producers: a critical synthesis, proposed protocols, and critique of management strategies. Aquat Conserv Mar Freshwater Ecosystem 17:195–215. doi: 10.1002/aqc.790 Google Scholar
  87. Littler MM, Littler DS, Blair SM, Norris JN (1985) Deepest known plant life discovered on an uncharted seamount. Science 227:57–59PubMedGoogle Scholar
  88. Littler MM, Littler DS, Blair SM, Norris JN (1986) Deep-water plant communities from an uncharted seamount off San Salvador Island, Bahamas: distribution, abundance, and primary productivity. Deep Sea Res 33:881–892Google Scholar
  89. Littler MM, Littler DS, Titlyanov EA (1991) Comparisons of N- and P-limited productivity between high Granitic Islands vs low carbonate atolls in the seychelles archipelago: a test of the relative-dominance paradigm. Coral Reefs 10:199–209Google Scholar
  90. Littler MM, Littler DS, Brooks BL (2010a) Marine macroalgal diversity assessment of saba bank Netherlands antilles. PLoS One 5:e10677. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010677 PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  91. Littler MM, Littler DS, Brooks BL (2010b) The effects of nitrogen and phosphorus enrichment on algal community development: artificial mini reefs on the Belize Barrier Reef sedimentary lagoon. Harmful Algae 9:255–263Google Scholar
  92. Mantyka CS, Bellwood DR (2007a) Direct evaluation of macroalgal removal by herbivorous coral reef fishes. Coral Reefs 26:435–442Google Scholar
  93. Mantyka CS, Bellwood DR (2007b) Macroalgal grazing selectivity among herbivorous coral reef fishes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 352:177–185Google Scholar
  94. McCook LJ (1996) Effects of herbivores and water quality on the distribution of Sargassum on the central Great Barrier Reef: cross-shelf transplants. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 139:179–192Google Scholar
  95. McCook LJ (1997) Effects of herbivory on zonation of Sargassum spp. within fringing reefs of the central Great Barrier Reef. Mar Biol 129:713–722Google Scholar
  96. McCook LJ (1999) Macroalgae, nutrients and phase shifts on coral reefs: scientific issues and management consequences for the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 18:357–367Google Scholar
  97. McCook L, Jompa J, Diaz-Palido G (2001) Competition between corals and algae on coral reefs: a review of evidence and mechanisms. Coral Reefs 19:400–417Google Scholar
  98. McGlathery KJ (2001) Macroalgal blooms contribute to the decline of seagrass in nutrient-enriched coastal waters. J Phycol 37:453–456Google Scholar
  99. McGlathery KJ, Howarth RW, Marino R (1992) Nutrient limitation of the macroalga, Penicillus capitatus, associated with subtropical seagrass meadows in Bermuda. Estuaries 15:18–25Google Scholar
  100. McManus JW, Polsenberg JF (2006) Coral-algal phase shifts on coral reefs: ecological and environmental aspects. Prog Oceanogr 60:263–279Google Scholar
  101. Melville F, Pulkownik A (2007) Seasonal and spatial variation in the distribution of mangrove macroalgae in the Clyde River, Australia. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 71:683–690Google Scholar
  102. Moksnes PO, Gullström M, Tryman K, Baden S (2008) Trophic cascades in a temperate seagrass community. Oikos 117:763–777Google Scholar
  103. Mork E, Sjoo GL, Kautsky N, McClanahan TR (2009) Top-down and bottom-up regulation of macroalgal community structure on a Kenyan reef. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 84:331–336Google Scholar
  104. Mumby PJ (2009) Phase shifts and the stability of macroalgal communities on Caribbean coral reefs. Coral Reefs 28:761–773Google Scholar
  105. Mumby PJ, Harborne AR (2010) Marine reserves enhance the recovery of corals on Caribbean reefs. PLoS One 5:e8657PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  106. Mumby PJ, Edwards AJ, Arias-González JE, Lindeman KC, Blackwell PG, Gall A, Gorczynska MI, Harborne AR, Pescod CL, Renken H, Wabnitz CCC, Llewellyn G (2004) Mangroves enhance the biomass of coral reef fish communities in the Caribbean. Nature 427:533–536PubMedGoogle Scholar
  107. Mumby PJ, Dahlgren CP, Harborne AR, Kappel CV et al (2006) Fishing, trophic cascades, and the process of grazing on coral reefs. Science 311:98PubMedGoogle Scholar
  108. Muzuka ANN, Shaghude YW, Wannas KO, Nyandwi N (2005) Sediment sources and their distribution in Chwaka Bay, Zanzibar Island. West Indian Ocean J Mar Sci 4:185–197Google Scholar
  109. Nagelkerken I, van der Velde G (2004) Are Caribbean mangroves important feeding grounds for juvenile reef fish from adjacent seagrass beds? Mar Ecol Prog Ser 274:143–151Google Scholar
  110. Nugues M, Bak RP (2006) Differential competitive abilities between Caribbean coral species and a brown alga: a year of experiments and a long-term perspective. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 315:75–86Google Scholar
  111. Pakker H, Breeman AM, Prud’homme van Reine WF, Van den Hoek C (1995) A comparative study of temperature responses of Caribbean seaweeds from different biogeographic groups. J Phycol 31:499–507Google Scholar
  112. Paul VJ, Puglisi MP (2004) Chemical mediation of interactions among marine organisms. Nat Prod Rep 21:189–209PubMedGoogle Scholar
  113. Paul VJ, Nelson SG, Sanger HR (1990) Feeding preferences of adult juvenile rabbitfish Siganus argenteus in relation to chemical defenses of tropical seaweeds. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 60:23–24Google Scholar
  114. Paul VJ, Cruz-Rivera E, Thacker RW (2001) Chemical mediation of macroalgal-herbivore interactions: ecological and evolutionary perspectives. In: McClintock J, Baker B (eds) Marine chemical ecology. CRC Press, LLC, Boca Raton, pp 227–265Google Scholar
  115. Pereira RC, Da Gama BAP (2008) Macroalgal chemical defenses and their roles in structuring tropical marine communities. In: Amsler DC (ed) Algal chemical ecology. Springer, Germany, pp 25–49Google Scholar
  116. Pielou EC (1977) The latitudinal spans of seaweed species and their patterns of overlap. J Biogeogr 4:299–311Google Scholar
  117. Rasher DB, Hay ME (2010) Chemically rich seaweeds poison corals when not controlled by herbivores. Proc Natl Acad Sci 107:9683–9688PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  118. Ritson-Williams R, Paul VJ, Arnold SN, Steneck R (2010) Larval settlementpreferences and post-settlement survival of the threatened Caribbean corals Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis. Coral Reefs 29:71–81Google Scholar
  119. Saifullah SM, Ahmed W (2007) Epiphytic algal biomass on pneumatophores of mangroves of Karachi, Indus Delta. Pakistan J Bot 39:2097–2102Google Scholar
  120. Santelices B, Marquet PA (1998) Seaweeds, latitudinal diversity patterns and Rapoport’s rule. Div Dist 4:71–75Google Scholar
  121. Schaffelke B (2001) Surface alkaline phosphatase activities of macroalgae on coral reefs of the central Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Coral Reefs 19:310–317Google Scholar
  122. Schaffelke B, Klumpp DW (1997) Growth of germlings of the macroalga Sargassum baccularia (Phaeophyta) is stimulated by enhanced nutrients. Proc 8th Int Coral Reef Symp 2:1839–1842Google Scholar
  123. Schupp PJ, Paul VJ (1994) Calcification and secondary metabolites in tropical seaweeds: variable effects on herbivorous fishes. Ecology 75:1172–1185Google Scholar
  124. Semesi IS, Beer S, Björk M (2009) Seagrass photosynthesis controls rates of calcification and photosynthesis of calcareous macroalgae in a tropical seagrass meadow. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 382:41–47Google Scholar
  125. Smith JE, Hunter CL, Smith CM (2010a) The effects of top-down versus bottom-up control on benthic coral reef community structure. Oecologia 163:497–507PubMedGoogle Scholar
  126. Smith TB, Fong P, Kennison R, Smith J (2010b) Spatial refuges and associational defenses promote harmful blooms of the alga Caulerpa sertularioides onto coral reefs. Oecologia 164:1039–1048PubMedGoogle Scholar
  127. Sotka EE, Hay ME (2009) Effects of herbivores, nutrient enrichment, and their interactions on macroalgal proliferation and coral growth. Coral Reefs 28:555–568Google Scholar
  128. Spivak AC, Canuel EA, Duffy JE, Richardson JP (2009) Nutrient enrichment and food web composition affect ecosystem metabolism in an experimental seagrass habitat. PLoS One 4:e7473. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007473 PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  129. Steneck RS, Dethier MN (1994) A functional group approach to the structure of algal-dominated communities. Oikos 69:476–498Google Scholar
  130. Uku J (2005) Seagrasses and their epiphytes: characterization of abundance and productivity in tropical seagrass beds. Doctoral dissertation. Stockholm University. Stockholm, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  131. Uku J, Björk M (2001) The distribution of epiphytic algae on three Kenyan seagrass species. S Afr J Bot 67:475–482Google Scholar
  132. Uku J, Björk M (2005) Productivity aspects of three tropical seagrass species in areas of different nutrient levels in Kenya. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 63:407–420Google Scholar
  133. van den Hoek C, Breeman AM, Bak RPM, Van Buurt G (1978) The distribution of algae, corals and gorgonians in relation to depth, light attenuation, water movement and grazing pressure in the fringing coral reef of Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles. Aquat Bot 5:1–46Google Scholar
  134. Vermeij MJA (2006) Early life-history dynamics of Caribbean coral species on artificial substratum: the importance of competition, growth, and variation in life-history strategy. Coral Reefs 25:59–71Google Scholar
  135. Vermeij MJA, Smith JE, Smith CM, Thurber RV, Sandin SA (2009) Survival and settlement success of coral planulae: independent and synergistic effects of macroalgae and microbes. Oecologia 159:325–336PubMedGoogle Scholar
  136. Vermeij MJA, van Moorselaar I, Engelhard S, Hörnlein C, Vonk SM, Visser PM (2010) The effects of nutrient enrichment and herbivore abundance on the ability of turf algae to overgrow coral in the Caribbean. PLoS One 5:e14312. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014312 PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  137. Vermeij MJA, Dailer ML, Smith CM (2011) Crustose coralline algae can suppress macroalgal growth and recruitment on Hawaiian coral reefs. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 422:1–7Google Scholar
  138. Vuki VC, Price IR (1994) Seasonal changes in the Sargassum populations on a fringing coral reef, magnetic Island, Great barrier reef region, Australia. Aquat Bot 48:153–166Google Scholar
  139. Webster PJ, Holland GJ, Curry JA, Chang HR (2005) Changes in tropical cyclone number, duration, and intensity in a warming environment. Science 309:1844–1846PubMedGoogle Scholar
  140. Williams ID, Polunin VC, Hendrick VJ (2001) Limits to grazing by herbivorous fishes and the impact of low coral cover on macroalgal abundance on a coral reef in Belize. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 222:187–196Google Scholar
  141. Wismer S, Hoey A, Bellwood D (2009) Cross-shelf benthic community structure on the Great barrier reef: relationships between macroalgal cover and herbivore biomass. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 376:45–54Google Scholar
  142. Womersley HBS, Bailey A (1969) The marine algae of the Solomon Islands and their place in biotic reefs. Philos Trans R Soc B 255:432–433Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Astrid Y. Mejia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gregory N. Puncher
    • 3
  • Aschwin H. Engelen
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratory of Experimental Ecology and AquacultureUniversity of Rome Tor VergataRomeItaly
  2. 2.Bay Islands Conservation Association (BICA-Roatan)Bay IslandsHonduras
  3. 3.Molecular Genetics for Environmental and Fishery Resources Laboratory (GenMAP)Interdepartment Center for Research in Environmental SciencesRavennaItaly
  4. 4.Centre for Marine Sciences (CCMAR)University of the AlgarveFaroPortugal

Personalised recommendations