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Title: Effects of macroalgal morphology on marine epifaunal diversity
Authors: Gan Su Xuan
Huang Danwei 
Keywords: Algal morphology
Community structure
DNA barcoding
Southeast Asia
Tropical shores
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2019
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Citation: Gan Su Xuan, TAY YWEE CHIEH, Huang Danwei (2019-12-01). Effects of macroalgal morphology on marine epifaunal diversity. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 99 (8) : 1697-1707. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Abstract: Macroalgae play important ecological roles, including as hosts for a wide range of epifauna. However, the diversity relationships between macroalgae and epifauna are poorly understood for most tropical host species and algal morphologies. This study aims to characterize and analyse the diversity of invertebrates present amongst macroalgae with three distinct morphologies (three-dimensional, filamentous and foliose) across different tropical intertidal sites in Singapore. Morphological and DNA barcoding tools were employed for epifaunal species identification, and ordination statistics and multiple linear regression were used to test the effects of algal morphology, species and site on community structure and diversity of epiphytic invertebrates. Overall, epifaunal communities were distinct among sites and algal morphologies, and diversity was affected significantly by algal morphology. In particular, filamentous macroalgae hosted the highest abundance of epifauna dominated mainly by amphipods, which were able to take advantage of the high surface area to volume ratio in filamentous algal mats as a consequence of their thinner forms. Foliose species showed a significantly negative effect on invertebrate diversity. Our findings highlight the diverse associations between intertidal macroalgae and invertebrates with high turnover between algal morphology and sites that contribute to the high biodiversity of tropical shores. Future studies should consider the effects of the host habitat, seasonality and more algal species on epifaunal diversity.
Source Title: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
ISSN: 0025-3154
DOI: 10.1017/S0025315419000900
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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