Although propagule pressure is recognized as an important determinant of invasion dynamics, the role of propagule quality (i.e. the physical condition of a propagule) has received little attention. In particular, how the performance of vegetative propagules differing in quality varies across heterogeneous landscapes is yet to be explored. Caulerpa cylindracea is a clonal, invasive seaweed, widely distributed in the Mediterranean. By means of a laboratory experiment, we investigated how variation in the quality of seaweed fragments (intact vs. frond-removal vs. rhizoid-removal) influenced their survival on control versus sediments enriched with detritus from the native seagrass, Posidonia oceanica. The survival of seaweed fragments was low on non-enriched sediments, irrespective of their characteristics. On enriched sediments, survival was high in control and rhizoid-removal fragments, but low in frond-removal fragments. Our study shows that both fragment quality and sediment characteristics influence the survival of C. cylindracea propagules and, hence, long-term spreading dynamics of this seaweed. More generally, it brings novel evidence showing that the effects of propagule quality on invasion success are context-dependent.

Fragment quality and sediment organic loading regulate the survival of an invasive, clonal seaweed

Bulleri, Fabio
Primo
;
Tamburello, Laura
Secondo
;
Bonechi, Lisa;
2018-01-01

Abstract

Although propagule pressure is recognized as an important determinant of invasion dynamics, the role of propagule quality (i.e. the physical condition of a propagule) has received little attention. In particular, how the performance of vegetative propagules differing in quality varies across heterogeneous landscapes is yet to be explored. Caulerpa cylindracea is a clonal, invasive seaweed, widely distributed in the Mediterranean. By means of a laboratory experiment, we investigated how variation in the quality of seaweed fragments (intact vs. frond-removal vs. rhizoid-removal) influenced their survival on control versus sediments enriched with detritus from the native seagrass, Posidonia oceanica. The survival of seaweed fragments was low on non-enriched sediments, irrespective of their characteristics. On enriched sediments, survival was high in control and rhizoid-removal fragments, but low in frond-removal fragments. Our study shows that both fragment quality and sediment characteristics influence the survival of C. cylindracea propagules and, hence, long-term spreading dynamics of this seaweed. More generally, it brings novel evidence showing that the effects of propagule quality on invasion success are context-dependent.
Bulleri, Fabio; Tamburello, Laura; Pusceddu, Antonio; Bonechi, Lisa; Cau, Alessandro; Moccia, Davide; Gribben, Paul E.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/909555
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