Scientia Marina, Vol 84, No 2 (2020)

The ecological condition of vermetid platforms affects the cover of the alien seaweed Caulerpa cylindracea


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.04984.06A

Marc Terradas-Fernández
Departamento de Ciencias del Mar y Biología Aplicada, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Alicante, Spain
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1916-5337

Miguel Valverde-Urrea
Departamento de Ciencias del Mar y Biología Aplicada, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Alicante, Spain
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5708-5258

Nuria Casado-Coy
Departamento de Ciencias del Mar y Biología Aplicada, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Alicante, Spain
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4348-2225

Carlos Sanz-Lazaro
Departamento de Ecología, Universidad de Alicante - Multidisciplinary Institute for Environmental Studies (MIES), Universidad de Alicante, Spain
orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4431-1762

Abstract


The seaweed Caulerpa cylindracea Sonder is one of the most important invaders on Mediterranean rocky shores. However, many driving pressures affecting its spread are poorly understood and seem to involve the interactions between abiotic and biotic factors. We studied the invasiveness of C. Cylindracea on two shallow vermetid platforms with a con­trasting ecological status on which C. Cylindracea was first detected simultaneously 15 years ago. The cover values of C. Cylindracea and the other macroalgal species were assessed for one year, embracing the whole platform width. Caulerpa cylindracea cover was higher on the platform that had a low ecological status, especially during warmer months at the outer seaward margin. The ecological status of the overstory of native species seems to be a key point conditioning the success of C. Cylindracea invasiveness on these platforms.

Keywords


rocky shores; phytobenthos; community composition; Caulerpa cylindracea; vermetid platforms; man-induced effects; Mediterranean

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