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Algae > Volume 27(2); 2012 > Article
Algae 2012;27(2): 115-123. doi: https://doi.org/10.4490/algae.2012.27.2.115
Susceptibility of Nereocystis luetkeana (Laminariales, Ochrophyta) and Eualaria fistulosa (Laminariales, Ochrophyta) spores to sedimentation
Melissa Deiman1,a,*, Katrin Iken1 and Brenda Konar1

1School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, P.O. Box 757220, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA aPresent address: Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Dutch Harbor, AK 99692, USA
*Corresponding Author  Email: melissa.deiman@alaska.gov
The establishment of algal spores plays an essential role in adult kelp distribution and abundance patterns. Sedimentation is a key variable regulating algal spore settlement and success, possibly controlling species-specific dominance in situ. Laboratory experiments were used to determine spore attachment and survival rates of two Alaskan canopy-forming kelps, Nereocystis luetkeana (K. Mertens) Postels & Ruprecht and Eualaria fistulosa (Postels & Ruprecht) M. J. Wynne, to various types of sediment loading. Spore attachment for both species was significantly and similarly affected by three sediment treatments: suspended particles; settled sediment covering the substratum; and smothering of attached spores by settling sediment. Spore attachment decreased by approximately 90% at 420 mg sediment L-1, the highest sediment load tested here, under all three treatments for both species. These results suggest that increases in sedimentation may constrain the success of the spore stages, but sediment does not seem to be a likely factor explaining species-specific distribution patterns. However, while sedimentation affected spores of both species similarly, timing of spore release in relation to times of maximum sediment load in the water might differ for different species, possibly explaining kelp species distribution patterns.
Key words: Alaska; Eualaria; kelp; Nereocystis; sediment; spore

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