Marine Invasion in the Mediterranean Sea: The Role of Abiotic Factors When There Is No Biological Resistance

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dc.contributor.author Cebrián Pujol, Emma
dc.contributor.author Rodríguez Prieto, Concepció
dc.date.issued 2012-10-10
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10256/7132
dc.description.abstract The tropical red alga Womersleyella setacea (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta) is causing increasing concern in the Mediterranean Sea because of its invasive behavior. After its introduction it has colonized most Mediterranean areas, but the mechanism underlying its acclimatization and invasion process remains unknown. To understand this process, we decided i) to assess in situ the seasonal biomass and phenological patterns of populations inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea in relation to the main environmental factors, and ii) to experimentally determine if the tolerance of W. setacea to different light and temperature conditions can explain its colonization success, as well as its bathymetric distribution range. The bathymetric distribution, biomass, and phenology of W. setacea were studied at two localities, and related to irradiance and temperature values recorded in situ. Laboratory experiments were set up to study survival, growth and reproduction under contrasting light and temperature conditions in the short, mid, and long term.Results showed that, in the studied area, the bathymetric distribution of W. setacea is restricted to a depth belt between 25 and 40 m deep, reaching maximum biomass values (126 g dw m−2) at 30 m depth. In concordance, although in the short term W. setacea survived and grew in a large range of environmental conditions, its life requirements for the mid and long term were dim light levels and low temperatures. Biomass of Womersleyella setacea did not show any clear seasonal pattern, though minimum values were reported in spring. Reproductive structures were always absent. Bearing in mind that no herbivores feed on Womersleyella setacea and that its thermal preferences are more characteristic of temperate than of tropical seaweeds, low light (50 µmol photon m−2 s−1) and low temperature (12°C) levels are critical for W. setacea survival and growth, thus probably determining its spread and bathymetric distribution across the Mediterranean Sea
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Public Library of Science
dc.relation.isformatof Reproducció digital del document publicat a: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0031135
dc.relation.ispartof PLoS ONE, 2012, vol. 7, núm. 2, p. e31135
dc.relation.ispartofseries Articles publicats (D-CCAA)
dc.rights Attribution 3.0 Spain
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/es/
dc.subject Algues vermelles -- Mediterrània, Mar
dc.subject Red algae -- Mediterranean Sea
dc.subject Plantes invasores -- Mediterrània, Mar
dc.subject Invasive plants -- Mediterranean Sea
dc.subject Invasions biològiques -- Mediterrània, Mar
dc.subject Biological invasions -- Mediterranean Sea
dc.title Marine Invasion in the Mediterranean Sea: The Role of Abiotic Factors When There Is No Biological Resistance
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.rights.accessRights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.relation.projectID info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/248252
dc.type.version info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0031135


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