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A REVIEW OF HERBIVORE EFFECTS ON SEAWEED INVASIONS

Chapter in book
Authors S. Enge
J. Sagerman
S. A. Wikstrom
Henrik Pavia
Published in OCEANOGRAPHY AND MARINE BIOLOGY: AN ANNUAL REVIEW, VOL 55
Pages 421-440
ISBN 978-1-138-19786-2
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory
Pages 421-440
Language en
Keywords fragile ssp tomentosoides, enemy release hypothesis, urchins, strongylocentrotus-droebachiensis, alga gracilaria-vermiculophylla, kelp, undaria-pinnatifida, exotic plant invasions, sargassum-muticum, biotic, resistance, caulerpa-taxifolia, feeding preference
Subject categories Marine ecology

Abstract

Almost 300 non-native seaweeds are identified worldwide and an increasing number of these are classified as invasive with potential negative effects on the diversity and functioning of native ecosystems. Marine herbivores affect seaweed biomass and community structure in marine habitats across the globe. Consequently, herbivore-seaweed interactions are expected to be important for the establishment and invasion success of non-native seaweeds. To synthesize current knowledge of consumer effects on non-native seaweeds, we performed a meta-analysis on feeding preferences of native herbivores for non-native versus native seaweeds. Data were included from 35 studies, published from 1992-2015 and comprising 18 non-native seaweeds. Results showed that overall, native herbivores tended to prefer to feed on native rather than non-native seaweeds. Preferences were, however, variable across studies with significant differences between taxonomic and functional groups of seaweeds. In particular, filamentous red non-native seaweeds were of low palatability to native herbivores. No general feeding preferences were apparent between natives and non-natives for brown and green seaweeds, or for leathery and corticated seaweeds. In addition, we reviewed the existing studies on the effects of consumers on the performance of native and non-native seaweeds in invaded communities. This indicated that non-native seaweeds performed better than their native competitors in the presence of grazers, but in many cases had superior competitive abilities also in the absence of herbivory. To achieve a comprehensive evaluation of consumers' role in seaweed invasion success, future research should have a larger focus on manipulative community experiments, ideally on time scales that include seasonal changes and complete life cycles of the seaweeds.

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