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Mayakun J.,Seaweed and Seagrass Research Unit | Kim J.H.,Prince of Songkla University | Kim J.H.,Sungkyunkwan University | Prathep A.,Seaweed and Seagrass Research Unit
Phycological Research

The effects of herbivory and the season of disturbance on species composition and algal succession were experimentally tested at a tropical intertidal shore, Phuket Island, Thailand. Dead coral patches were cleared of all organisms during both the dry and rainy seasons in order to study the effects of season on algal succession and cages were set up to exclude fish herbivory. Algal succession in this intertidal habitat showed a simple pattern and took a year from the early Ulva paradoxa C. Agardh stage to the late Polysiphonia sphaerocarpa Børgesen stage. The abundance of algae during succession was under the influence of seasonal change. U. paradoxa reproduced and recruited throughout the year. Caging effects did not apparently influence algal abundance, perhaps because resident herbivorous damselfishes excluded other herbivores from their territories and maintained their algal " farms" Unexpectedly, the percent cover of Ulva in the caged plots was lower than in uncaged plots. This pattern may indicate that caging excluded damselfishes only, but allowed small herbivores that consumed substantial amounts of soft filamentous algae in the cages. © 2010 Japanese Society of Phycology. Source

The brown algal genus, Padina, has a worldwide distribution in tropical and subtropical climate zones. Padina individuals are common and sometimes dominant in both the intertidal and shallow subtidal regions associated with coral reefs. We investigated the population structure and recruitment of two populations of Padina boryana at an exposed shore in Sirinart National Park (SNP) and a sheltered shore of Tang Khen Bay (TKB), Phuket Province, Thailand. From September 2005 to August 2006, the number of released spores and the height and radius of fronds were measured monthly. New recruits were recorded and monitored on manipulated permanent plots 0.25 m2. The experiment was carried out monthly over a year. We found Padina recruits 1 month after the plots were cleared at both sites. There was a significant difference in percentage cover by new individuals between the two locations (P < 0.05) and also at the shore levels within the sites. At SNP, the highest recruitment was found in the uppermost zone, while at TKB high recruitment occurred at all shore levels except at 80-100 m from the shore. The factors influencing recruitment of P. boryana include wave motion, competition with other earlier successional species and sediment. The high availability of reproductive spores throughout the year, the successful recruitment and the Dictyerpa stage promote the successful establishment of Padina populations. Crown Copyright © 2009. Source

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