A limpet kelp interaction : description and definition Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/v118rj121

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  • The interaction between the acmaeid limpet, Collisella instabilis and the subtidal laminarian, Pterygophora californica involves positive effects on the limpet population and subtle positive or null effects on the kelp. Collisella, which is found only on Pterygophora and another kelp, Laminaria dentigera (Kjellman, 1889), may exploit several features of the stipe of Pterygophora. The long, cylindrical stipe is used as a habitat which provides food and possibly a refuge from seastar predation and interspecific competition. Much of the food source is the epiphytic algae that grow on the stipe of Pterygophora. The epidermis of the stipe is grazed after the epiphytes are removed. There were no significant differences in stipe diameter growth rate between tagged plants with and without limpets suggesting that grazing does not affect the plant negatively. Moreover, none of the limpet-occupied plants with blades that I observed (>150) had any deep scars on the stipe which might weaken it and increase its susceptibility to breakage. The limpet may have positive effects on its host by preventing the negative effects of epiphytes. These epiphytes often include juveniles of Pterygophora and Laminaria, which may cover over 80% of the stipe. Observations suggest that when these epiphytic laminarians are abundant, they may greatly increase the drag that the holdfast of the host plant must withstand. This increased drag may increase the probability of holdfast dislodgement, which appears to be an important source of Pterygophora mortality. Field manipulations and descriptive transects indicate that the limpets may be the single most important factor affecting the establishment and maintenance of epiphyte abundance and diversity. Host plant blade whiplash and factors which fluctuate seasonally may also affect epiphytes. Limpets may thus have positive effects on their host plant by preventing the establishment and/or growth of drag-increasing epiphytes. This interaction appears to be either mutualistic or commensalistic. Of these, only mutualism has been modeled. Mutualistic models are thus far not sufficiently complex to account for many important aspects of this interaction. The association between C. instabilis and Pterygophora involves several complexities, such as asymmetrical obligateness, interaction with a third species, and environmental variability.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-08-14T20:27:47Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 YatesKennethR1982.pdf: 409479 bytes, checksum: c30b0d4317b8b4a2ac77fcad59a0d74b (MD5)
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