Coralline algal skeletal mineralogy affects grazer impacts

McCoy, S. J. and Kamenos, N. A. (2018) Coralline algal skeletal mineralogy affects grazer impacts. Global Change Biology, 24(10), pp. 4775-4783. (doi:10.1111/gcb.14370) (PMID:30030870)

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Abstract

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.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding for this research came from a Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS) Postdoctoral and Early Career Research Exchange to SJM and NAK. SJM was supported by a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme (grant agreement FP7‐PEOPLE‐2012‐IIF No. 330271) and by internal funds from Florida State University.
Keywords:Ecology, global and planetary change, general environmental science, environmental chemistry
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kamenos, Dr Nicholas
Authors: McCoy, S. J., and Kamenos, N. A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Global Change Biology
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:1354-1013
ISSN (Online):1365-2486
Published Online:20 July 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 John Wiley and Sons Ltd
First Published:First published in Global Change Biology 24(10):4775-4783
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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