Inter-Research > MEPS > v388 > Feature  
Marine Ecology Progress Series

via Mailchimp
MEPS - Vol. 388 - Feature article
Foliose algae at Naples Reef, off Santa Barbara, California, USA. Photo: R.J. Miller

Miller RJ, Reed DC, Brzezinski MA


Community structure and productivity of subtidal turf and foliose algal assemblages


Foliose macroalgae and low-growing turf algae are functional groups of primary producers often separated by marine ecologists. Miller and co-workers at the Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Ecological Research program employed innovative benthic chambers to measure primary production of the 2 groups in situ, and show that despite their slower growth rates, higher-biomass foliose algae produced 3x more carbon per area of reef bottom than turfs. Although turfs had lower biomass and productivity than foliose assemblages, they supported higher densities of invertebrate macrofauna, an important food source for reef fishes that browse the turf and winnow through it for small prey. Browsing may represent 'gardening' of the turf and prevent its transformation into a foliose community.


Inter-Research Science Publisher is pleased to make this Feature Article openly available for viewing by our readers.


Abstract   Back to contents page   Link to full PDF