Temporal variability in macroalgae recruitment and succession on sandstone reefs at Piedade Beach – PE, Brazil

Mariana Alves de Guimaraens, João Alberto Marques da Silva, Danielle Falcão

Abstract


Two sites, in which Rhodophyta and Chlorophyta were the dominant algae, were selected in the intertidal zone of a sandstone reef at Piedade Beach to evaluate macroalgal recruitment and succession from March 2007 through January 2008. At each site, 2 meter transects were sampled using 20 x 20 cm quadrats in the midlittoral zone of the reefflat. The initial position of the quadrats was randomly chosen. Green algae (filamentousand foliose) showed a bloom at the end of the rainy season (approximately 250 grams of dry weight/m2 on October 2007), as indicated by the differences between the monthly average biomass values observed in the recruitment plots. The biomass measurements of control quadrats and in the succession treatments did not differ statistically during the rainy season for either Chlorophyta or Rhodophyta at Site 1 or during the dry season at Site 2. Green and red algae (filamentous and corticated) exhibited a pattern of alternating oscillations, as shown by the principal component analysis of recruitment, rainfall and air temperature. These results suggested a negative relationship between temperature and the recruitment of red algal biomass.

Key words: Macroalgal Biomass, Benthic Ecology, Sandstone Reefs, Ecological Succession, Algal Recruitment.


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