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Importance of the invasive macroalga Undaria pinnatifida as trophic subsidy for a beach consumer


Suarez-Jimenez, R and Hepburn, CD and Hyndes, GA and McLeod, RJ and Taylor, RB and Hurd, CL, Importance of the invasive macroalga Undaria pinnatifida as trophic subsidy for a beach consumer, Marine Biology, 164, (5) Article 113. ISSN 0025-3162 (2017) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2017 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00227-017-3140-y


Food webs on sandy beaches rely heavily on spatial subsidies of macroalgae and other detritus. Invasive macroalgal species are modifying many ecosystems worldwide, so the potential exists for them to alter the quantity and quality of food available to sandy beach consumers. We evaluated the suitability of the invasive kelp Undaria pinnatifida as a food for the talitrid amphipod Bellorchestia quoyana, an abundant consumer on sandy beaches in southern New Zealand. U. pinnatifida had similar gross nutritional and biomechanical properties to the three native macroalgal species (the kelps Macrocystis pyrifera and Durvillaea antarctica, and the green Ulva spp.). B. quoyana consumed U. pinnatifida at similar or higher rates than the native kelps in laboratory feeding assays (choice and no-choice assays with fresh tissues, and choice assays with tissue reconstituted into agar foods to remove structural properties). Our results indicate that U. pinnatifida is a usable alternative food source for B. quoyana and could, therefore, contribute to the local sandy beach food web. Understanding the role that invasive macroalgae play as a food source for beach consumers is essential to better comprehend how they may affect these subsidy-dependent ecosystems.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Undaria, kelp, invasive seaweed, food webs, trophic subsidy
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Phycology (incl. marine grasses)
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Ecosystem adaptation to climate change
UTAS Author:Hurd, CL (Professor Catriona Hurd)
ID Code:116084
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-05-01
Last Modified:2018-04-24

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