The role of epiphytic algae and different species of Sargassum in the distribution and feeding of herbivorous amphipods

Giuliano Buzá-Jacobucci, Fosca Pedini Pereira-Leite


DOI: https://doi.org/10.3856/vol42-issue2-fulltext-6

Abstract


The presence of particular algal species can directly influence the distribution and abundance of mesoherbivores. The aim of this study was to answer the following questions: Do Sargassum beds of different localities show variation in the load of epiphytic algae? Do Sargassum beds of different localities show variation in the density of herbivore amphipods? Does the density of these amphipods in the same algal bed vary with epiphyte load? Are species of Sargassum and their epiphytes equally consumed by amphipods? The collections were carried out in three infralitoral algal beds in southeastern Brazil. Fronds of Sargassum were collected at each algal bed and the associated ampithoid and hyalid amphipods were separated, identified and counted. Sargassum fronds and epiphytes were identified, dryed and weighted. Experiments were carried out to determine the consumption of Sargassum species and epiphytes by amphipods. The weight of the epiphytes Hypnea musciformis and Dyctiopteris delicatula and the density of amphipods were different among sampling sites. There was a relationship between amphipod density and epiphyte weight at two sampling sites. The four amphipod species tested consumed algae, but showed different patterns of consumption. Despite consuming the epiphytes, the ampithoids preferentially feed on the three species of Sargassum, while Hyale nigra had a preference for Hypnea musciformis.

Buzá-Jacobucci G, Pereira-Leite F. The role of epiphytic algae and different species of Sargassum in the distribution and feeding of herbivorous amphipods. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res.. 2017;42(2): 353-363. Available from: doi:10.3856/vol42-issue2-fulltext-6 [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].
Buzá-Jacobucci, G., & Pereira-Leite, F. (2017). The role of epiphytic algae and different species of Sargassum in the distribution and feeding of herbivorous amphipods. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 42(2), 353-363. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3856/vol42-issue2-fulltext-6