Caronni, Sarah and Delaria, Maria Anna and Navone, Augusto and Panzalis, Pier Augusto and Sechi, Nicola and Ceccherelli, Giulia (2014) Relevant scales of variability of the benthic allochthonous microalga Chrysophaeum taylorii. Marine Biology, Vol. 161 (8), p. 1787-1798. ISSN 0025-3162. eISSN 1432-1793. Article.
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Chrysophaeum taylorii (Pelagophyceae) is an allochthonous benthic microalga recently recorded in the Mediterranean Sea. During summer, the occurrence of C. taylorii is usually visible to the naked eye due to the large amount of mucilage this species produces. Information on the spatio-temporal variability of this species and on the predictability of massive mucilage events is still scarce and requires to define ad hoc managing strategies of major bloom events. The aim of this work was to identify the relevant scales of variation in the abundance of C. taylorii abundance and to estimate the relative recurrence of its blooms, testing the hypothesis that mucilage was dependent on the cell density. The first approach was the identification of the most appropriate sampling procedure to estimate benthic cell abundance of C. taylorii. The second one was the estimation of the magnitude of variation in C. taylorii cell abundance attributable to each of several spatial (areas, sites, zones and replicates) and temporal scales (fortnights and years) in the Marine Protected Area of Tavolara Punta Coda Cavallo (Western Mediterranean Sea). The results indicate fortnight and year as the most relevant scales of variability in the cell abundance of C. taylorii and highlight the unimportance of small spatial scales (zone and replicates) to the species variability. The collected data also evidence the absence of a direct relationship between the cell density of C. taylorii and the production of mucilage. In conclusion, these results indicate that patterns in the cell abundance of C. taylorii vary notably depending on the considered scale and that future investigations on processes affecting its performance will need to consider the relevant scales of variation evidenced.
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