Effect of the bat star Asterina miniata (Brandt) on recruitment of the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera C. Agardh

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Leonard, G. H. (1994). Effect of the bat star Asterina miniata (Brandt) on recruitment of the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera C. Agardh. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 179(1), 81-98. doi:10.1016/0022-0981(94)90018-3
Metadata
TitleEffect of the bat star Asterina miniata (Brandt) on recruitment of the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera C. Agardh
AuthorsG. Leonard
AbstractThe effect of the common bat star, Asterina miniata (Brandt) on recruitment of the giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera C. Agardh, was addressed through laboratory grazing experiments, a field experiment, and modeling of feeding behavior. In the laboratory, Asterina miniata significantly decreased the density of sporophytes that developed from 1-wk-old gametophytes as well as the percent cover of 2-, 6-, and 7-wk-old sporophytes. All grazed blades remaining at the end of these experiments subsequently died. Small scale variability in spore settlement and sporophyte development were also evident in the laboratory. Bat star density significantly affected short-term kelp recruitment during a large-scale field experiment. Simple modeling suggested that high densities of Asterina miniata could graze nearly 100% of the bottom over the 90-day experiment. However, visible recruitment was seen in less than 30 days, and over this time, 36% of the substratum was predicted to have remained ungrazed. Macrocystis pyrifera of 1 to 3 cm in length may thus obtain a refuge in size from bat star grazing through rapid growth. These results indicate this generalist grazer can affect giant kelp recruitment but that even under high grazing pressure numerous plants survive. Bat star grazing probably does not contribute to large-scale differences in adult plant density but may contribute to small-scale patterns of dispersion.
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Date1994
Volume179
Issue1
Start page81
End page98
ISSN0022-0981
SubjectsAsterina miniata, Macrocystis, Macrocystis pyrifera, bat star, giant kelp, grazing, recruitment
NoteCited By (since 1996):10, Ecology, Seaweeds, CODEN: JEMBA

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