Ceramialean epiphytism in an intertidal Gracilaria chilensis (Rhodophyta) bed in Southern Chile

Buschmann A.H.; Retamales C.A.; Figueroa C.

Keywords: chile, zone, culture, environment, intertidal, epiphytes, gracilaria, rhodophyta, seaweed, chilensis, epiphyte


The cultivation of the agarophytic red alga Gracilaria has become an activity of major importance in several parts of the world. However, Gracilaria cultivation in Chile still faces problems such as epiphytism. We report ceramialean epiphytism abundance, recruitment patterns and the microscopic stages fixed on the Gracilaria thalli in an intertidal bed (Metri bay) of southern Chile. Using a factorial field experiment, we analyze the effect of intertidal elevation and the use of epiphyte free inoculum on the abundance of ceramialean epiphytic algae. This evidence is used to provide management and control recommendations for ceramialean epiphytes. The results show a summer recruitment and increase in abundance of ceramialean epiphytes. A seasonal and spatial pattern of abundance of microscopic stages of this epiphytic algae was also found, showing a significant increase from the apical (new tissues) to the central parts of the thalli (older tissues). Apical tissues are free of epiphytic propagules. The epiphyte-free tissue zone decreases significantly from winter to summer. Also, a significantly higher density of microscopic stages of ceramialean epiphytes was found on the thalli collected in the farming area during the summer at low tidal levels. The experimental results indicated that the abundance of epiphytes was greater at the lower tidal levels than at the higher distribution limits of Gracilaria and it was not possible to control epiphytism by manual cleaning.

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Volumen: 9
Número: 2
Editorial: Springer
Fecha de publicación: 1997
Página de inicio: 129
Página final: 135
URL: http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-0030756747&partnerID=q2rCbXpz