Kubicek, Andreas, Bessho, Kazuhiro, Nakaoka, Masahiro, Wahl, Martin and Lenz, Mark (2011) Inducible defence and its modulation by environmental stress in the red alga Chondrus yendoi (Yamada and Mikami in Mikami, 1965) from Honshu Island, Japan. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 397 (2). pp. 208-213. DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2010.11.025.

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Among the numerous anti-herbivore defences developed by macroalgae, chemical and morphological traits are best documented and understood. Plant defence theory suggests that these resistances, which can either be constitutive or inducible, are associated with metabolic costs. They should therefore be impaired under conditions of energy limitation, but evidence for this prediction is scarce. In two subsequent experiments, we tested whether a reduction of light availability is changing feeding rates of the two mesoherbivores Idotea ochotensis and Lacuna smithii on the red alga Chondrus yendoi. Algal individuals were kept in outdoor mesocosm facilities for 10 days, during which we manipulated the amount of incoming sunlight at 6 levels (0%–99% reduction, i.e. 2000–20 μmol s− 1 m− 2). Orthogonal to this, we established the presence or absence of one of the herbivores to test whether C. yendoi can generate a defence. Algal palatability was investigated afterwards in no-choice feeding assays using naïve grazer individuals. The consumption of algal tissue in L. smithii increased with decreasing light, while this was not the case for I. ochotensis. However, we found a defence induced as a reaction to herbivory only by the highly mobile isopod but not when the slowly moving snail grazed on C. yendoi. Isopod total consumption rates in our experiments were 40 times higher than those of the gastropods. We therefore suggest that C. yendoi exhibits grazer-specific reactions to herbivory, depending on the mobility and voracity of the consumers. Interestingly, only for one of the grazers, i.e. the snail, short-term light reduction influenced the palatability of algal tissue. We discuss different but not mutually exclusive models that could explain this pattern. In conclusion, we view this three-species system as an illustrative example for specificity in grazer–algal interactions and their modification by environmental stress.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Integrated Modelling > Spatial Ecology and Interactions
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2010.11.025
ISSN: 00220981
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2019 10:53
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 13:00
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/2870

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