MEPS 146:145-153 (1997)  -  doi:10.3354/meps146145

Temperature and light responses of alga Caulerpa taxifolia introduced into the Mediterranean Sea

Komatsu T, Meinesz A, Buckles D

Cuttings of Mediterranean Caulerpa taxifolia were cultured under controlled temperature and light conditions in culture chambers. The upper lethal temperature was between 31.5 and 32.5°C and the lower lethal temperature between 9 and 10°C. Between 10 and 12.5°C, the alga survived without any growth; new stolons and new fronds developed at 15 and 17.5°C, respectively. Stolon growth was strongly correlated with the temperature increase. No morphological changes were observed when the cuttings were cultured within the vital temperature range (10 to 31.5°C). The new fronds and stolons developed on the cuttings under a very weak light intensity of photosynthetically active radiation(27 µmol m-2 s-1 at a photoperiod cycle of 14 h light:10 h dark). The most favorable range of light intensity was between 88 and 338 µmol m-2 s-1(14 h light:10 h dark). These light and temperature responses confer to the Mediterranean strain C. taxifolia, introduced in 1984, a large potential for expansion throughout the Mediterranean Sea and also in adjacent tropical and temperate seas.

Caulerpa taxifolia · Mediterranean Sea · Temperature · Light

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