1932

Abstract

Abstract

Seaweed population biology has received far less attention than trophic dynamics, yet is critically important in establishing and maintaining algal communities. Complex life histories of habitat-forming kelps and fucoids, including spores, gametophytes, gametes, and microscopic and macroscopic benthic stages, must be considered within the context of their highly dynamic nearshore environments. We evaluate differences within and between kelps and fucoids in life histories as they affect population biology; dispersal and potential limitations in population establishment; macroscopic stages and variations in survival and longevity affecting stand structure; and microscopic stage responses to disturbance and variation in the physical environment. We suggest that the commonly made comparisons of seaweeds with terrestrial seed plants are misleading because of large differences in morphology, environments, and the ephemeral nature of propagule banks in the sea. We conclude that progress in understanding algal populations depends on better knowledge of microscopic stages and on feedback through density-dependent reproductive processes, dispersal, and settlement.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.37.091305.110251
2006-12-01
2024-06-14
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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