Restoration techniques for Macrocystis pyrifera (Phaeophyceae) populations at the southern limit of their distribution in Mexico

G. Hernández-Carmona, O. García, D. Robledo, M. Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Following the 1982-83 El Nino, Macrocystis pyrifera (L.) C. Agardh, forests disappeared throughout their range in Baja California. The giant kelp forests subsequently recovered within this range except at their extreme southern limit, a region encompassing 50 km of coastline with a former giant kelp standing stock of 28,000 wet tons. Two techniques were tested to restore these forests: juvenile transplantation and seeding with sporophylls. For transplanting, juvenile M. pyrifera sporophytes were attached to Eisenia arborea stumps seasonally over a two-year period. Average survival of transplants ranged from 7% in spring to 41% in winter. After two years, the average number of basal fronds per plant increased from 2 to 64 per plant and surface fronds from 0 to 34 per plant. Average frond growth rate of the transplants ranged from 8.1 cm day-1 in summer to 10.8 cm day-1 in winter. No significant differences in growth rate were found among treatments (seasons) for the transplants, but control plants showed a seasonal variation, with higher frond growth rates in winter (13.3 cm day-1) and spring (9.3 cm day-1) and lower in summer (4.4 cm day-1). The seeding technique was tested in a fully orthogonal-block design with three factors with two levels (factors: ± sporophylls addition, ± Eisenia arborea and ± understory algae). Macrocystis pyrifera recruitment occurred only in treatments with added sporophylls. The highest recruitment occurred where all algae were removed from the bottom, followed by the treatments without understory algae but with Eisenia arborea. This results suggest that a lack of spores and the presence of understory algae were the main factors inhibiting Macrocystis pyrifera recruitment in the area. Lower sea water temperatures and high nutrient concentrations occurred in spring and high temperatures and low nutrients in summer suggesting, as in southern California, an inverse relationship between these two factors. The results suggest a combined approach of transplanting juveniles and seeding during spring would be most effective for restoring the M. pyrifera forests.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)273-284
Number of pages244
JournalBotanica Marina
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

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Macrocystis
algae
Phaeophyta
Macrocystis pyrifera
Phaeophyceae
Mexico
Eisenia arborea
fronds
seeding
alga
understory
sowing
Population
winter
transplanting (plants)
summer
macroalgae
kelp forest
nutrient
transplantation

Cite this

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abstract = "Following the 1982-83 El Nino, Macrocystis pyrifera (L.) C. Agardh, forests disappeared throughout their range in Baja California. The giant kelp forests subsequently recovered within this range except at their extreme southern limit, a region encompassing 50 km of coastline with a former giant kelp standing stock of 28,000 wet tons. Two techniques were tested to restore these forests: juvenile transplantation and seeding with sporophylls. For transplanting, juvenile M. pyrifera sporophytes were attached to Eisenia arborea stumps seasonally over a two-year period. Average survival of transplants ranged from 7{\%} in spring to 41{\%} in winter. After two years, the average number of basal fronds per plant increased from 2 to 64 per plant and surface fronds from 0 to 34 per plant. Average frond growth rate of the transplants ranged from 8.1 cm day-1 in summer to 10.8 cm day-1 in winter. No significant differences in growth rate were found among treatments (seasons) for the transplants, but control plants showed a seasonal variation, with higher frond growth rates in winter (13.3 cm day-1) and spring (9.3 cm day-1) and lower in summer (4.4 cm day-1). The seeding technique was tested in a fully orthogonal-block design with three factors with two levels (factors: ± sporophylls addition, ± Eisenia arborea and ± understory algae). Macrocystis pyrifera recruitment occurred only in treatments with added sporophylls. The highest recruitment occurred where all algae were removed from the bottom, followed by the treatments without understory algae but with Eisenia arborea. This results suggest that a lack of spores and the presence of understory algae were the main factors inhibiting Macrocystis pyrifera recruitment in the area. Lower sea water temperatures and high nutrient concentrations occurred in spring and high temperatures and low nutrients in summer suggesting, as in southern California, an inverse relationship between these two factors. The results suggest a combined approach of transplanting juveniles and seeding during spring would be most effective for restoring the M. pyrifera forests.",
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Restoration techniques for Macrocystis pyrifera (Phaeophyceae) populations at the southern limit of their distribution in Mexico. / Hernández-Carmona, G.; García, O.; Robledo, D.; Foster, M.

In: Botanica Marina, 01.01.2000, p. 273-284.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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