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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 6, 2017

Interactions between kelp spores and encrusting and articulated corallines: recruitment challenges for Lessonia spicata

Gloria M. Parada, Enrique A. Martínez, Moisés A. Aguilera, Mauricio H. Oróstica and Bernardo R. Broitman
From the journal Botanica Marina


Intertidal kelps like Lessonia spicata (Laminariales) dominate low intertidal habitats, where they coexist with morphologically diverse coralline seaweeds. We show that crustose and articulated coralline algae have contrasting effects on the settlement and recruitment of this kelp species. Crustose coralline algae significantly inhibited the settlement of kelp spores, while they readily settled on the genicula of articulated coralline algae. This pattern was observed both in laboratory experiments and in field experiments conducted in the low intertidal zone at three locations. Field surveys confirmed that L. spicata juveniles were significantly more likely to be found on articulated corallines than on crustose corallines. This pattern held in field surveys at 10 sites, where primary space occupancy of L. spicata showed a significant negative correlation with the cover of crustose coralline algae in 3 out of 4 years, across all sites. Our results provide an important ecological clue to the processes determining recruitment limitation for ecologically and economically important seaweeds, and support conservation and management actions.


We are grateful for technical support in the laboratory by José Morillas (RIP) and Verónica Flores (SEM preparations). Corrections to the English by Simon Karythis are also appreciated. Funds were provided through Grants DIPUC, IFS A/2497-1, FONDECYT 1990235, MINECON NC120086 (BRB), FONDECYT 1160223 (MAA), and Becas Chile (MHO).


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Received: 2017-2-1
Accepted: 2017-8-28
Published Online: 2017-10-6
Published in Print: 2017-11-27

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