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:12/19/2016)... BARCELONA , España y TORONTO , 19 ... fusión con Northern Biologics Inc. que permitirá el desarrollo acelerado de ... ensayos clínicos en varios tipos de tumor en 2017, con múltiples ... ... de su clase con objetivo en el factor inhibidor de leucemia ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... and BADEN-BADEN, Germany , December 15, 2016 ... financial services provider, today announced an agreement with NuData Security, ... to join forces. The partnership will enable clients to focus ... compliance with local data protection regulation. ... In order to provide a ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec. 15, 2016  There is much more ... or starting the engine. Continental will demonstrate the intelligence ... Las Vegas . Through the combination of the ... Entry) and biometric elements, the international technology company is ... personalization and authentication. "The integration of biometric ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... -- Ginkgo Bioworks, the organism company, announced today ... synthesis and assembly of DNA. The acquisition will ... DNA into Ginkgo,s automated organism engineering foundries, enabling ... new organism designs for application across a wide ... to significantly increase the world,s capacity to cost-effectively ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan 19, 2017 Research and Markets ... Profiling Technology, Biomolecules, Cancer Type, Application - Global Opportunity Analysis and ... ... that the global market is projected to reach $15,737 million by ... from 2016 to 2022. Omic technologies segment accounted ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire -- WuXi AppTec, ... open-access capability and technology platform, today announced that ... biology focused preclinical drug discovery contract research organization ... become a wholly-owned subsidiary of WuXi, and will ... and providing greater services. The acquisition will further ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... November Research Group, ... biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and regulators, is proud to announce the worldwide ... email client designed to provide product vigilance departments with the flexibility and ease ...
Breaking Biology Technology: