Grazing influences the structure and function of seagrass meadows. Like terrestrial plants, seagrasses have evolved nutritional, structural and chemical mechanisms to either tolerate or resist grazing. Phenols are common secondary metabolites that have multiple roles, including grazing deterrence, and their content in seagrass tissues can vary both among species and within a single species in response to biotic and abiotic processes. Such variability influences the grazing behaviour of species that consume seagrass, but few studies have addressed mesograzers that consume or damage seagrass, such as the nerite Smaragdia souverbiana. We assessed the effect of environmentally-mediated differences in phenol concentration on these seagrass mesograzers by testing: (1) if phenol content is different between sites and seagrass species (Zostera muelleri vs Halophila ovalis) and (2) if S. souverbiana inflicts different amounts of damage on different seagrasses from different sites, according to their phenol content. Phenol content was consistently lower in Z. muelleri than H. ovalis, and concentrations were about 60% lower in both species at one of two sites in eastern Moreton Bay, Queensland. These differences corresponded to different foraging patterns of S. souverbiana, with the snails generally choosing the seagrass species with the lowest phenol content. These results suggest that S. souverbiana chooses among locally available seagrasses based on a trade-off between phenol content and digestibility (related to cell size). This work demonstrates how subtle local processes can create complex changes in seagrass–grazer interactions with potential ecological consequences at local and regional scales.

Rotini, A., Tibbetts, I.r., Migliore, L., & Rossini, R.a. (2018). The trade-off between digestibility and phenol content influences the food choice of the obligate seagrass-feeding neritid snail Smaragdia souverbiana. THE JOURNAL OF MOLLUSCAN STUDIES, 84(1), 12-18 [10.1093/mollus/eyx038].

The trade-off between digestibility and phenol content influences the food choice of the obligate seagrass-feeding neritid snail Smaragdia souverbiana

Rotini, Alice
;
Migliore, Luciana;
2018-11

Abstract

Grazing influences the structure and function of seagrass meadows. Like terrestrial plants, seagrasses have evolved nutritional, structural and chemical mechanisms to either tolerate or resist grazing. Phenols are common secondary metabolites that have multiple roles, including grazing deterrence, and their content in seagrass tissues can vary both among species and within a single species in response to biotic and abiotic processes. Such variability influences the grazing behaviour of species that consume seagrass, but few studies have addressed mesograzers that consume or damage seagrass, such as the nerite Smaragdia souverbiana. We assessed the effect of environmentally-mediated differences in phenol concentration on these seagrass mesograzers by testing: (1) if phenol content is different between sites and seagrass species (Zostera muelleri vs Halophila ovalis) and (2) if S. souverbiana inflicts different amounts of damage on different seagrasses from different sites, according to their phenol content. Phenol content was consistently lower in Z. muelleri than H. ovalis, and concentrations were about 60% lower in both species at one of two sites in eastern Moreton Bay, Queensland. These differences corresponded to different foraging patterns of S. souverbiana, with the snails generally choosing the seagrass species with the lowest phenol content. These results suggest that S. souverbiana chooses among locally available seagrasses based on a trade-off between phenol content and digestibility (related to cell size). This work demonstrates how subtle local processes can create complex changes in seagrass–grazer interactions with potential ecological consequences at local and regional scales.
Pubblicato
Rilevanza internazionale
Articolo
Esperti anonimi
Settore BIO/07
English
Con Impact Factor ISI
Due Erasmus Mundus mobility grant del Programma NESSIE ottenuti da L. Migliore e A. Rotini ha permesso di trascorrere un periodo di lavoro in Australia, presso la School of Biological Sciences dell’Università del Queensland a Brisbane e di collaborare con Ian R. Tibbets e Renee A. Rossini.
Rotini, A., Tibbetts, I.r., Migliore, L., & Rossini, R.a. (2018). The trade-off between digestibility and phenol content influences the food choice of the obligate seagrass-feeding neritid snail Smaragdia souverbiana. THE JOURNAL OF MOLLUSCAN STUDIES, 84(1), 12-18 [10.1093/mollus/eyx038].
Rotini, A; Tibbetts, Ir; Migliore, L; Rossini, Ra
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2108/191935
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