Navigation Links
Sea urchins cannot control invasive seaweeds
Date:7/13/2011

Exotic marine species, including giant seaweeds, are spreading fast, with harmful effects on native species, and are increasingly affecting the biodiversity of the Mediterranean seabed. Some native species, such as sea urchins (Paracentrotus lividus), can fight off this invasion, but only during its early stages, or when seaweed densities are very low.

Spanish researchers have carried out a study to look at the ability of sea urchins (Paracentrotus lividus) generalist herbivores that live in the Mediterranean to limit the invasion of two introduced seaweeds (Lophocladia lallemandii and Caulerpa racemosa), which are having a "grave" effect on the seabed.

"After seven months of experimentation, we found that predation by these herbivores had no effect once Caulerpa racemosa was completely established, although it did reduce the degree to which it became established in the very early stages of invasion", Emma Cebrin, lead author of the study and a researcher in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Girona, tells SINC.

In the case of Lophocladia lallemandii, the sea urchins were able to limit the seasonal spread of the seaweed. "Since the amount of this species directly consumed by the sea urchins is very low, this reduction was due more to the decline in other native species (consumed by the sea urchins), which act as a substrate for the seaweed", the expert explains.

The research, which has been published in Biological Invasions, shows that, although high sea urchin densities can have a limiting effect on the establishment of invasive seaweeds, "they exert no control whatsoever in highly invaded areas", the researcher adds.

Sea urchins on the attack

The researchers used the experiment to compare the proportion of invasive seaweeds in the environment and the amount actually consumed (present in sea urchin stomach contents). "The sea urchins do not consume the invasive species according to their availability they have preferences", says Cebrin.

Although the two species of invasive seaweed are very abundant in the environment, "Lophocladia lallemandii was consumed to a very low degree, while the sea urchins displayed a certain preference for eating Caulerpa racemosa", the biologist goes on.

To find out whether consumption by the sea urchins could control the invasion by these two species, the team of researchers placed large numbers of sea urchins into cages (12 sea urchins/m2) and monitored how the invasive seaweeds developed.

The cages were placed in areas completely invaded by C. racemosa (established invasion), in areas where the invasion was still very limited (initial stages of invasion) and in places where L. lallemandii was very abundant. "The sea urchins only controlled the expansion of C. racemosa in the cages in places where the invasion was still at a very early stage", Cebrin points out.

The research team says it would "be of great interest" to study possible mechanisms for controlling these invasions, and the resistance of native communities to them, given the growing impact of exotic species.


'/>"/>

Contact: SINC Team
info@agenciasinc.es
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Sea urchins see with their whole body
2. Urged on by urchins: How sea lilies got their get-up-and-go
3. Higher-protein diets can improve appetite control and satiety
4. Safer and more effective diabetes control with basal insulin analogs
5. Single gene controls development of many forms of polycystic disease
6. Unique gene combinations control tropical maize response to day lengths
7. Researchers from the Viikki Biocenter discover how plants control the formation of wood cells
8. UofL infection prevention and control expert to influence national health-care leaders
9. MIT control theory research: How to control complex networks
10. Ben-Gurion University students develop thought-controlled, hands-free computer for the disabled
11. Dopamine controls formation of new brain cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Sea urchins cannot control invasive seaweeds
(Date:5/23/2017)... Italy , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym ... trunk, has been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . ... Europe and the USA . The technology ... on the market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a ... the Multimedia News Release, please click: ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 ... its vendor landscape is marked by the presence of ... is however held by five major players - 3M ... these companies accounted for nearly 61% of the global ... leading companies in the global military biometrics market boast ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Fla. , April 11, 2017 ... and secure authentication solutions, today announced that it ... Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop ... Thor program. "Innovation has been a ... IARPA,s Thor program will allow us to innovate ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... Tunnell Consulting announced today that four ... ISPE Annual Meeting and Expo , to be held October 29 through November 1 ... “Driving innovation to advance patient therapies.” , The ISPE Annual Meeting and Expo will ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... Today, 3Bar Biologics Inc ., ... in funding from an impressive group of investors, including Rev1 Ventures, Maumee Ventures, ... this investment, 3Bar is broadening availability of its groundbreaking offering that uses naturally ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... 15, 2017 After spending the past two years building ... data collection, GeneFo now offers this platform to healthcare stakeholders (hospitals, ... support, adherence, and data collection vis a vis their members, under ... successful launch of this offer. ... GeneFo ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... Boston, MA (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... unmet need that has compromised these disciplines for more than half a century. ... cannot be counted. It is widely known that molecular tags developed for this ...
Breaking Biology Technology: