Distribution and recruitment of subtidal geniculate coralline algae

Konar, B., & Foster, M. S. (1992). Distribution and recruitment of subtidal geniculate coralline algae. Journal of Phycology, 28(3), 273-280.
TitleDistribution and recruitment of subtidal geniculate coralline algae
AuthorsB. Konar, S. Foster
AbstractGeniculate coralline algae are common members of kelp forest communities. The structure provided by their stiff branches greatly influences the abundance and species composition of benthic animals and can affect associated algae by inhibiting recruitment, but the branches are themselves substrate for a large number of other taxa. However, other than qualitative observations, little is known about the within-site distribution, recruitment, and growth of these algae. We examined the distribution of the dominant corallines at a subtidal site in central California. Abundances of Calliarthron tuberculosum (Post. & Rupr.) Dawson, Bossiella californica ssp. schmittii (Manza) Johans., Calliarthron cheilosporioides Manza, Corallina vancouveriensis Yendo, and unidentifiable juveniles were determined at depths of 10, 15, and 20 m and on horizontal rock, vertical rock, and cobble. Calliarthron tuberculosum was most abundant (≤ 39% cover) at all depths, growing primarily on horizontal surfaces. Vertical surfaces and cobbles were dominated by B. californica ssp. schmittii (40 and 15% cover, respectively). These two most abundant species had the highest cover at 15 m. Calliarthron cheilosporioides and C. vancouveriensis were relatively rare (< 1% cover) and generally grew on horizontal rocks and at shallower depths. Unidentified juveniles were also rare and occurred mainly on horizontal rocks and cobbles at 20 m. The settlement and growth rates of coralline crusts and the initiation and growth rates of young erect fronds from these crusts were determined in clearings made in the spring and fall at the three depths. Crust densities and diameters were highest at 10 m and in spring clearings. Settlement and growth tended to decrease with increasing depth. Trends were similar in fall clearings, but initial settlement was lower. Initiation and growth of fronds decreased with depth and were also higher in fall clearings. These variations in depth and substrata distribution, as well as settlement and growth, suggest there is considerable variation in the population biology between species in this group of subtidal plants.
JournalJournal of Phycology
Start page273
End page280