Feeding preference of the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus Lamarck, on seaweeds. Seaweeds exhibit different strategies to minimize the damage caused by herbivores and also to influence the feeding preference of these consumers. This study evaluated the feeding preference of the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus through multiple-choice experiments using the seaweeds Caulerpa racemosa, Dictyota menstrualis, Osmundaria obtusiloba, Plocamium brasiliense, Sargassum sp. In order to verify the importance of morphological and chemical aspects on this feeding preference, two assay-types were carried out using live and powdered macroalgae, respectively. Two different methods were employed to analyze the results obtained: comparison between biomass losses versus autogenic changes, and inclusion of autogenic values in biomass loss through herbivory.

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Feeding-deterrent properties of diterpenes of Dictyota mertensii (Phaeophyceae, Dictyotales)

Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer. Keywords: Dictyota menstrualis, Gas chromatography, Crude extract, Chemical profile. Abstract Crude extracts from specimens of the brown seaweed Dictyota menstrualis, known to produce diterpenes as their major secondary metabolites, were analyzed according to storage procedures before extraction, and the solvent types used to obtain the crude extracts. The specimens of D. The most efficient and selective extraction of the compounds with intermediate polarity produced by D. In general, the storage procedures produced very similar results, but the frozen samples furnished low amount of total diterpenes. According to these results on chemical analysis of crude extracts of seaweeds, the choice of solvent to extraction should be considered as important aspect to better screening bioactive compounds.


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Although herbivory by fishes is recognized as a fundamental process structuring coral reef communities, the susceptibility of macroalgae and potential effects of this process at Rocas Atoll are unknown. Macroalgal consumption was evaluated through field transplant assays onto reef sites to investigate the differential susceptibility of species to herbivory by fishes. Of 13 species examined, the red macroalga Digenea simplex was highly preferred and probably constitutes the most important food resource to herbivorous fishes in almost all parts of the atoll. The green macroalga Bryopsis plumosa and the brown algae Dictyopteris jamaicensis , Dictyota crispata , D. Finally, the algae Sargassum polyceratium and Gelidiella acerosa were less preferred, probably because of both morphological features and chemical defenses. This differential susceptibility of the seaweeds to herbivory associated with different spatial herbivory pressure may be responsible for the variable distribution and abundance of seaweeds around the Rocas Atoll reef.

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