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Density- and trait-mediated effects of fish predators on amphipod grazers: potential indirect benefits for the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera

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posted on 28.09.2020 by A Perez-Matus, Jeffrey Shima
Indirect effects of predators on primary producers may arise when predators suppress herbivore abundance and/or alter the behaviour patterns of herbivores in ways that reduce grazing pressure. Most studies highlight the role of predators in reducing herbivore abundance (i.e. density- mediated interactions), while behavioural effects (i.e. trait-mediated interactions) induced by predators are less commonly considered and are often assumed to be of secondary importance. We used a mesocosm experiment to evaluate the consumptive and behavioural effects of 2 species of predatory fishes on amphipod grazers that feed and nest on the giant kelp Macrocystispyrifera. Only one, Noto- labrus celidotus, of the 2 predator species reduced grazer abundance. Although the second predator species, N. fucicola, did not affect grazer abundance directly, it significantly reduced the grazing efficiency of amphipods on blades of M. pyrifera. Our study illustrates how density- and trait-mediated interactions reduce grazer efficiency and provide potential indirect benefits to primary producers. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental evidence of a potential trophic cascade in kelp beds generated by consumptive and nonconsumptive effects. When considered alongside results of other studies that highlight positive effects of macroalgae on reef fish demographic rates, our results provide compelling evidence that mutualistic relationships may exist between kelp and associated predatory fishes. © Inter-Research 2010.

History

Preferred citation

Perez-Matus, A. & Shima, J. (2010). Density- and trait-mediated effects of fish predators on amphipod grazers: potential indirect benefits for the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 417, 151-158. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps08820

Journal title

Marine Ecology Progress Series

Volume

417

Publication date

01/01/2010

Pagination

151-158

Publisher

Inter-Research Science Center

Publication status

Published

Contribution type

Article

ISSN

0171-8630

eISSN

1616-1599

Language

en

Exports