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Ecology of the Imported Red Seaweed Eucheuma striatum Schmitz on Coconut Island, Oahu, Hawaii

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Title: Ecology of the Imported Red Seaweed Eucheuma striatum Schmitz on Coconut Island, Oahu, Hawaii
Authors: Russell, Dennis J.
Issue Date: Apr 1983
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Russell DJ. 1983. Ecology of the imported red seaweed Eucheuma striatum Schmitz on coconut Island, Oahu, Hawaii. Pac Sci 37(2): 87-107.
Abstract: The introduced alga Eucheuma striatum Schmitz was studied
regarding its spread, control, and ecology in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. Its
distribution in Kaneohe Bay during May 1976was nearly the same as when it was
originally planted 2 yr earlier. It lacked the ability to disperse over shallow depressions
both in the reef and in deep water , and it did not colonize neighboring
reefs without the help of man. Depth was the single most important physical
factor limiting its dispersal. A total fresh weight standing crop of from 21 to 24
metric ton s of E. striatum was recorded on a 500-m-long section of reef edge from
December 1976 to June 1977. When protected from grazing its growth rate was
about 5.0 percent/day. Data support the conclusion that the population on the
reef edge was maintained only by a steady influx of thallus fragments that
escaped from enclosed experimental plantings on the reef flat. When the experimental
plantings were removed the population could not maintain itself and
soon disappeared. Eucheuma striatum did not compete with native algal macrophytes
and appeared to be the basis of a community richer in animal species than
adjacent reefs. It provided 10-20 tons/me of food for grazing fish, shelter , and a
substratum for numerous invertebrates. Eucheuma striatum did not attach to
corals, but it did cause their death by shading.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 37, Number 2, 1983

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