Seaweed-herbivore-predator interactions: host-plant specialization reduces predation on small herbivores

  title={Seaweed-herbivore-predator interactions: host-plant specialization reduces predation on small herbivores},
  author={Mark E. Hay and Joseph R. Pawlik and J. Emmett Duffy and William Fenical},
SummaryBecause feeding specialization among marine herbivores is rare, marine communities provide a simplified system for identifying factors selecting for specialization. [] Key Result Crab grazing on the red seaweed Acanthophora spicifera was stimulated when this alga was coated with increasing concentrations of the cytotoxic diterpenoid chlorodesmin, the major secondary metabolite of Chlorodesmis. Crabs did not sequester Chlorodesmis metabolites but avoided predators by sheltering in the unpalatable alga…
Feeding preferences and host associations of specialist marine herbivores align with quantitative variation in seaweed secondary metabolites
The results imply that the direct influence of quantitative variation in Caulerpa chemistry may only be limited to host associations in some sacoglossans, however, feeding pressure from multiple herbivore species with unique preferences could still contribute to variation in chemical defence amongst congeneric algae.
Facultative mutualism between an herbivorous crab and a coralline alga: advantages of eating noxious seaweeds
These results suggest that the crabs clean their algal host of fouling seaweeds and associate with the host to minimize predation, and to effectively clean the host, the crab must consume the wide array of macroalgae that commonly co-occur with coralline algae in these habitats, including chemically defended species in the genera Halimeda, Dictyota, and Laurencia.
Predation constrains host choice for a marine mesograzer
It is suggested that seaweed refuge quality, not nutritional quality, drives A. typica host preference and distribution in this system.
Herbivory on a chemically defended plant as a predation deterrent in Hyalella azteca
This is the first experimental evidence that predation on a freshwater herbivore, H. azteca, was reduced when it consumed a chemically defended plant.
Habitat and food selection by herbivorous amphipods associated with macroalgal beds on the southeast coast of Brazil
The different results for C. filosa suggest that the pattern of feeding and habitat selection can be affected by external characteristics of the algae, and probably, refuge from predation is an important selective force acting on the use of algae by these animals.
Chemical mediation of seaweed-herbivore interactions
Seaweeds produce a variety of secondary metabolites that deter feeding by herbivores. T h e defensive value of a compound is, however, a specific function of the compound's structure and the species
Selective consumption and facilitation by mesograzers in adult and colonizing macroalgal assemblages
The results indicate that northern Baltic macroalgae are limited to grazing mainly during their colonization stage, suggesting a preference for one species to the advantage of another.
Testing the importance of predation refuge vs. food quality in determining the use of macroalgal hosts by a generalist marine mesograzer
The distribution of Cymadusa was explained by a balance between food and refuge values of hosts, with higher abundances being observed in the high-quality food alga that provides refuge against predators (e.g. Padina), while fewer individuals occurred in other high- quality food that was less suitable as refuge (eg. Sargassum).
Effects of seaweed extracts and secondary metabolites on feeding by the herbivorous surgeonfish Naso lituratus
The results, together with previous work, suggest that tropical herbivorous fishes differ in their responses to plant chemistry, and this variability precludes broad generalization about the effects of marine plant secondary metabolites on herbivory fishes.
Associations among coral reef macroalgae influence feeding by herbivorous fishes
Although limited to one of the three species pairings, such associations between algae may allow the ecological persistence of palatable species in the face of intense herbivory, enhancing macroalgal diversity on coral reefs.


Host‐Plant Specialization Decreases Predation on a Marine Amphipod: An Herbivore in Plant's Clothing
The hypothesis that predator escape and deterrence are primary factors selecting for host specialization by Pseudamphithoides incurvaria is consistent and conclusions can be drawn for the limited number of other marine herbivores that are relatively specialized.
Predictable spatial escapes from herbivory: how do these affect the evolution of herbivore resistance in tropical marine communities?
  • M. Hay
  • Environmental Science
  • 2004
Between-habitat differences in macrophyte consumption by herbivorous fishes were examined on three Caribbean and two Indian Ocean coral reefs, supporting the hypothesis that defenses against herbivores are costly in terms of fitness and are selected against in habitats with predictably low rates of herbivory.
Marine Plant-Herbivore Interactions: The Ecology of Chemical Defense
Although numerous seaweed characteristics can deter some herbivores, the effects of morphology and chemistry have been studied most thoroughly and these types of seaweeds may be considered herbivore tolerant.
Chemical defense in the seaweed Dictyopteris delicatula: differential effects against reef fishes and amphipods
It is hypothesized that mesograzers living on plants chemically defended from fishes will experience less predation than those living on Plants preferred by fishes.
A Limpet‐Coralline Alga Association: Adaptations and Defenses Between a Selective Herbivore and its Prey
The number of apparently specific adaptations of both organisms, with mutual advantages, suggests evolution toward a coevolved interdependency.
Chemical Defense Against Different Marine Herbivores: Are Amphipods Insect Equivalents?
The ability of amphipods to circumvent the chemical defenses of Dictyota, and the fact that the two species of algae most readily consumed by amphipODs were the twospecies least readily consumedBy fish, suggest that predation and herbivory by fishes may be major factors selecting for amphipod that can live on, and eat, seaweeds that are unpalatable to fishes.
Host specificity in phytophagous insects: selection pressure from generalist predators
Experiments to test the hypothesis that generalists are more vulnerable than specialists to predators are described, and generalists were taken more readily than specialists: some but not all reasons could be detected.