Coralline algal skeletal mineralogy affects grazer impacts

In macroalgal‐dominated systems, herbivory is a major driver in controlling ecosystem structure. However, the role of altered plant–herbivore interactions and effects of changes to trophic control under global change are poorly understood. This is because both macroalgae and grazers themselves may be affected by global change, making changes in plant–herbivore interactions hard to predict. Coralline algae lay down a calcium carbonate skeleton, which serves as protection from grazing and is preserved in archival samples. Here, we compare grazing damage and intensity to coralline algae in situ over 4 decades characterized by changing seawater acidity. While grazing intensity, herbivore abundance and identity remained constant over time, grazing wound width increased together with Mg content of the skeleton and variability in its mineral organization. In one species, decreases in skeletal organization were found concurrent with deeper skeletal damage by grazers over time since the 1980s. Thus, in a future characterized by acidification, we suggest coralline algae may be more prone to grazing damage, mediated by effects of variability between individuals and species.

McCoy S. J. & Kamenos N. A., in press. Coralline algal skeletal mineralogy affects grazer impacts. Global Change Biology. Article (subscription required).

0 Responses to “Coralline algal skeletal mineralogy affects grazer impacts”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.




Subscribe to the RSS feed

Powered by FeedBurner

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 1,105,458 hits

OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book