Contribution of temporal and spatial components to morphological variation in the kelp Ecklonia (Laminariales)
Computing, Health and Science
Natural Sciences/Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research
Environmental conditions that are known to cause morphological variation in algae (e.g., wave exposure) often vary in both space and time and are superimposed onto the distinct seasonal growth cycles of most temperate macroalgae. We tested the hypothesis that the morphology of the small kelp Ecklonia radiata (C. Agardh) J. Agardh is the product of an interaction between site (five reefs of different wave exposure) and the time of year that sampling occurs (summer vs. winter 2004). We determined that wave exposure had a strong directional effect on kelp morphology, with “Reefs” accounting for up to 43.4% of variation in individual morphological characters. “Times” had a narrowly nonsignificant effect on overall morphology but accounted for up to 31% of variation in individual characters. Many characters were affected by wave exposure, whereas only a few were (strongly) affected by time (e.g., thallus biomass). Interactive effects between “Reefs” and “Times” were generally small, accounting for 15.8% of variation in lamina thickness, but much less for most other characters. We conclude that wave exposure exerts a strong control over
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