Biology and Ecology of Algae on Tropical Reefs Jennifer E. Smith, Ph.D. National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis University of California Santa Barbara Slime ? Incredible Diversity > 500 species of marine algae in Hawaii, many new species and genera collected every year
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Jennifer E. Smith, Ph.D.
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
University of California Santa Barbara
…seaweeds in the ocean can avoid infection by fungi and bacteria by producing their own natural antibiotics. The seaweeds live in constant contact with potentially dangerous microbes, suggesting they are under pressure to evolve some kind of resistance…
CRUSTOSE CORALLINE ALGAE
High nutrient levels-upwelling, cold nutrient rich seawater
Dominated by producers
Algae form the ecosystem
High net export of energy
Tropical (warm water)
Low nutrient levels-no upwelling
Corals form the ecosystem
Low algal abundance
Low export of energy from systemCoastal Marine Ecosystems
Extremely diverse and highly productive ecosystems
thriving in nutrient poor seas…how does this work???
…and where are all of the algae???
Nitrogen & Phosphorus-low
Smith et al. 2001. Coral Reefs
Smith et al. Pacific Science 2002
Introduced to O’ahu and Molokai for aquaculture
Localized spread, not good at spreading b/w islands
Ecological dominant in some places: Waikiki and Kane’oheGracilaria salicornia: “Gorilla Ogo”
Smith et al. Pacific Science. 2004