In the Mediterranean, sea breams are the most effective Paracentrotus lunch's and Arbacia lixula predators Generally, seabreams dislodge adult urchins from the rocky substrate, turn them upside down and crush their tests Sea urchins may respond to fish attacks clinging tenaciously to the substratum This study is the first attempt to investigate sea urchin adhesion strength in two alternative algal assemblages of the rocky infralittoral and valuated its possible implication for fish predation We hypothesized that (I) sea urchin adhesion strength is higher in rocky shores dominated by encrusting macroalgae (ECA) than in erected macroalgae (EMA). (2) predation rates upon sea urchins are lower in ECA than in EMA, and (3) predation rate on A lixula is lower than that on P lividus We observed that attachment tenacity of both sea urchins was higher in ECA than EMA and that A lixula exhibited a stronger attachment tenacity than P lividus in ECA. Results supported the importance of adhesion strength, as efficient defence against sea bream attacks, only for, P lividus. A lixula adhesion strength does not seem to be an important factor in avoiding fish predation, possibly because of the low palatability of the species These patterns may deserve particular interest in understanding the processes responsible for the maintenance of sea urchin barrens that are dominated by ECA assemblage (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved

Macroalgal assemblage type affects predation pressure on sea urchins by altering adhesion strength

Agnetta D;
2010

Abstract

In the Mediterranean, sea breams are the most effective Paracentrotus lunch's and Arbacia lixula predators Generally, seabreams dislodge adult urchins from the rocky substrate, turn them upside down and crush their tests Sea urchins may respond to fish attacks clinging tenaciously to the substratum This study is the first attempt to investigate sea urchin adhesion strength in two alternative algal assemblages of the rocky infralittoral and valuated its possible implication for fish predation We hypothesized that (I) sea urchin adhesion strength is higher in rocky shores dominated by encrusting macroalgae (ECA) than in erected macroalgae (EMA). (2) predation rates upon sea urchins are lower in ECA than in EMA, and (3) predation rate on A lixula is lower than that on P lividus We observed that attachment tenacity of both sea urchins was higher in ECA than EMA and that A lixula exhibited a stronger attachment tenacity than P lividus in ECA. Results supported the importance of adhesion strength, as efficient defence against sea bream attacks, only for, P lividus. A lixula adhesion strength does not seem to be an important factor in avoiding fish predation, possibly because of the low palatability of the species These patterns may deserve particular interest in understanding the processes responsible for the maintenance of sea urchin barrens that are dominated by ECA assemblage (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/1376
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