Ecology of antifouling resistance in the bladder wrack Fucus vesiculosus: patterns of microfouling and antimicrobial protection

Wahl, Martin, Shahnaz, Laila, Dobretsov, S., Saha, Mahasweta, Symanowski, Frauke, David, Kristina, Lachnit, Tim, Vasel, M. and Weinberger, Florian (2010) Ecology of antifouling resistance in the bladder wrack Fucus vesiculosus: patterns of microfouling and antimicrobial protection Marine Ecology Progress Series, 411 . pp. 33-48. DOI 10.3354/meps08644.

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The impact of moderate environmental stress may be modulated by stress-induced shifts of biotic interactions such as host – epibiont relationships. We studied the stress regime in shallow Western Baltic habitats, the variability of fouling at different temporal and spatial scales, and whether common stressors - low light, high temperature, grazing – affect the abundance and composition of the biofilm on a regionally important macroalga, the bladder wrack Fucus vesiculosus. We further explore the alga’s capacity to chemically modulate the recruitment of microfoulers and whether this ability is impacted by stress. In laboratory, mesocosm and field experiments fouling pressure and epibiotic cover on the algae varied strongly with changing environmental conditions such as temperature, irradiance, depth or grazing. The expectation that abiotic stress affects the fouling-modulating ability of the alga and, thus, indirectly produces the observed variability of epibiosis was not generally confirmed. Indeed, while the strength of chemical antifouling resistance varied seasonally, with a maximum in winter/spring and a minimum in late summer, this could not be related to temporal patterns of environmental stress, fouling pressure, or growth of Fucus. Only the seasonal variation in reproduction seemed to be in phase with antifouling activity. Controlled experiments confirmed that resistance strength was not affected by temperature or grazing, and only moderately by light. We conclude that the fouling modulation ability of Fucus vesiculosus may suffer from light-reduction (e.g. by eutrophication effects) while they are not sensitive to the predicted warming or enhanced grazing.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Ecology; Marine Biology; Marine algae; Stress; Epibiosis; Fouling modulation; Interacting stressors; Fucus vesiculosus
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-B Experimental Ecology - Benthic Ecology
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.3354/meps08644
ISSN: 0171-8630
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2010 07:59
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2012 15:01

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