Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/16425
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Type: Journal article
Title: The prevalence and production of turf-forming algae on a temperate subtidal coast
Author: Copertino, M.
Connell, S.
Cheshire, A.
Citation: Phycologia, 2005; 44(3):241-248
Publisher: Int Phycological Soc
Issue Date: 2005
ISSN: 0031-8884
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Margareth Copertino, Sean D. Connell and Anthony Cheshire
Abstract: This study shows that canopy-forming algae, composed mainly of fucoids and the kelp Ecklonia radiata (both Phaeophycea), dominated space on South Australian coasts relative to turf-forming algae. However, where canopy-forming algae are absent turf-forming algae are the primary occupiers of space (~ 70%). On some reefs where canopy-forming algae are restricted in spatial extent, turfs can occupy as much as 40% of reefs. Turf-forming algae are an abundant component of algal assemblages, but relatively little is known about their contribution to the primary productivity on temperate reefs, relative to canopy-forming species. This study reveals that net productivity rates of turfs at one South Australian location were very high across depths (1.3–2.9 g C m−2 day−1 or 23.2–88.0 mg C g ash-free dry weight−1 day−1), comparable to the values discovered on tropical reefs. Although turf-forming algae are much more productive than canopy-forming algae on a biomass basis, the annual net production per area is two to seven times lower for turfs than for canopy-forming algae. However, if negligible exudation rates are assumed for turfs (up to 1%), the biomass of carbon produced by turf algae represents 44–71% of the carbon incorporated into biomass of kelps. Taken together, these results suggest that while canopy-forming algae can be correctly assumed to be the major source of total carbon produced on temperate reefs, the contribution of turf-forming algae may be substantial to the biomass production and turnover on South Australian reefs.
RMID: 0020050495
DOI: 10.2216/0031-8884(2005)44[241:TPAPOT]2.0.CO;2
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications

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