Pinna, Stefania and Pais, Antonio and Chessa, Lorenzo Antonio and Sechi, Nicola and Ceccherelli, Giulia (2009) Leaf partitioning of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica between two herbivores: is Sarpa salpa herbivory underestimated because of Paracentrotus lividus grazing? Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Vol. 84 (1), p. 21-27. ISSN 0272-7714. Article.
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In the Mediterranean region, herbivory appears to be a factor controlling the production of the endemic species Posidonia oceanica, which is mainly due to two main macroherbivores: the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, and the sparid fish Sarpa salpa. In this context the present study is a contribution in clarifying herbivory on P. oceanica by testing: 1) whether the abundance of grazing marks of the two herbivores is variable across different spatial scales, 2) whether spatial variation of P. lividus grazing marks and its density is consistent, 3) whether there is a dependence of the number of P. lividus grazing marks on its density, 4) whether the grazing of both macroherbivores, P. lividus and S. salpa, involves the entire leaf length, and 5) whether there is a dependence of the number of P. lividus grazing marks on the number of S. salpa grazing bites.
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