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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 427:83-94 (2011)  -  DOI:

Effects of limitation stress and of disruptive stress on induced antigrazing defense in the bladder wrack Fucus vesiculosus

Florian Weinberger1,*, Sven Rohde1,2, Yvonne Oschmann1, Laila Shahnaz1,3, Sergey Dobretsov1,4, Martin Wahl1

1Leibniz-Institut für Meereswissenschaften (IFM-GEOMAR), Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany
2ICBM, Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Schleusenstrasse 1, 26382 Wilhelmshaven, Germany
3Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, Civil Hospital, Karachi 74200, Pakistan
4Department of Marine Science and Fisheries, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Al Khoud 123, PO Box 34, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

ABSTRACT: We assessed the effects of light limitation and temperature shift on palatability and induced antiherbivore defense in the brown alga Fucus vesiculosus L. Incubation for 2 wk at light intensities above the compensation point of photosynthesis and in the absence of grazers increased the palatability of F. vesiculosus and its subsequent consumption by the omnivorous isopod Idotea baltica Pallas. This effect correlated with an increased C:N ratio and mannitol content in the algal tissue, presumably due to increased photosynthetic carbon fixation. Mannitol, the primary product of photosynthesis in F. vesiculosus, proved to be a feeding cue for I. baltica, and depletion of the mannitol pool may therefore account for the reduced palatability during light limitation. At light intensities above the compensation point of photosynthesis, F. vesiculosus responded with decreasing palatability when it was exposed to I. baltica grazing. Irrespective of the preceding light regime, such defense induction was prevented during incubation under light limitation. Thus, under low light, defense induction is not only inhibited, but also less necessary due to the relative absence of feeding cues. Upward or downward shifts in water temperature by approximately 10°C also inhibited inducible defense in F. vesiculosus. However, such shifts did not affect algal growth and were therefore the consequence of an impairment of specific defense-related components rather than of resource limitation, unless compensatory growth was given priority over defense.

KEY WORDS: Alga–herbivore interaction · Defense induction · Idotea · Seaweed–herbivore ­interaction · Stress effects

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Cite this article as: Weinberger F, Rohde S, Oschmann Y, Shahnaz L, Dobretsov S, Wahl M (2011) Effects of limitation stress and of disruptive stress on induced antigrazing defense in the bladder wrack Fucus vesiculosus. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 427:83-94.

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