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:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM ... an industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to ... ask questions via voice or text and receive relevant information ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that ... be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging ... product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo ... ... ... News ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a ... the overview results from the Q1 wave of its ... wave was consumers, receptivity to a program where they ... a health insurance company. "We were surprised ... says Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... SANTA MONICA, Calif. , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer ... to pioneer increasingly precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of ... 77 institutions across 15 countries. Read More About the ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the ... future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced ... of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials ... dose studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, ... in healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects ... single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June 23, 2016 ... the trading session at 4,833.32, down 0.22%; the Dow Jones ... the S&P 500 closed at 2,085.45, down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has ... INFI ), Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ... BIND Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: BIND ). Learn more ...
Breaking Biology Technology: