Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Host-plant change in marine specialist herbivores: Ascoglossan sea slugs on introduced macroalgae

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

In the British Isles, oligophagous marine herbivores, particularly the asco-glossan (= sacoglossan) sea slug Elysia viridis, associate with the introduced green macroalga Codium fragile ssp. tomentosoides. Slugs prefer to associate with and consume the introduced C. fragile to the native C. tomentosum. Our investigation of adult, larval, and juvenile E. viridis focused on whether this association is attributable (1) to a host switch or (2) to an expansion from native hosts to the introduced C. fragile ssp. tomentosoides. Growth rates and maximum body sizes of E. viridis on introduced hosts were greater than on natives. Although the native Cladophora rupestris induced a high rate of slug metamorphosis, recently metamorphosed juvenile E. viridis (from Codium fragile-feeding parents) were generally not able to feed or grow on the native alga. In contrast, juveniles from Cladophura-feeding parents could eat Cladophora, although their performance was highly variable. Small, postlarval slugs (< 800 mum long) could not effectively puncture cell walls and extract algal cytoplasm and chloroplasts from Cladophora; slugs fed far more readily on the thin-walled C. fragile. The new association appeared to be a host switch such that Codium fragile feeders and their offspring had limited capacity to complete their life cycle on the native host Cladophora, Larval metamorphosis in E. viridis was greatest on potential host species, but larvae also responded to nonhost macrophytes and adult conspecifics. The generality of larval host-plant selection and larval metamorphosis enables oligophagous adult consumers to exploit spatially unpredictable novel hosts, to capitalize on newly available host plants, and to exhibit spatial and temporal variation in host-plant associations.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-243
Number of pages25
JournalEcological Monographs
Volume71
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2001

    Research areas

  • Codium fragile, Elysia viridis, endosymbiosis, herbivory, host-plant range, host specificity, host switch, introduced species, Scotland, sea slugs, specialist herbivores, RHAGOLETIS-POMONELLA DIPTERA, SACOGLOSSA = ASCOGLOSSA, OF-THORNS STARFISH, PLACIDA-DENDRITICA, LABORATORY CULTURE, RANGE EXPANSION, CORALLINE ALGAE, OVIPOSITION PREFERENCES, GREGARIOUS SETTLEMENT, INVERTEBRATE LARVAE

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Precision and accuracy of Dahl-Lea back-calculated smolt lengths from adult scales of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)

    Hanson, N. N., Smith, G. W., Middlemas, S. J. & Todd, C. D., 29 Jan 2019, In : Journal of Fish Biology. 94, 1, p. 183-186

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Context-dependent reduction in somatic condition of wild Atlantic salmon infested with sea lice

    Susdorf, R., Salama, N., Todd, C. D., Hillman, R., Elsmere, P. & Lusseau, D., 15 Nov 2018, In : Marine Ecology Progress Series. 606, p. 91-104

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Mate limitation in sea lice infesting wild salmon hosts: the influence of parasite sex ratio and aggregation

    Cox, R., Groner, M., Todd, C. D., Gettinby, G., Patanasatienkul, P. & Revie, C., Dec 2017, In : Ecosphere. 8, 12, 19 p., e02040.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Marine life of the sea trout

    Thorstad, E. B., Todd, C. D., Uglem, I., Bjørn, P. A., Gargan, P. G., Vollset, K. W., Halttunen, E., Kålås, S., Berg, M. & Finstad, B., Mar 2016, In : Marine Biology. 163, 3, 19 p., 47.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Efectos del piojo del salmon Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Copepoda: Caligidae) en las poblaciones de truchas (Salmo trutta) de la costa NE Atlantic: Effects of salmon lice Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Copepoda: Caligidae) on sea trout (Salmo trutta) popualtions from the NE Atlantic coast

    Arechavala-Lopez, P., Thorstad, E., Todd, C. D., Uglem, I., Bjorn, P., Gargan, P., Vollset, K., Halttunen, E., Kalas, S., Berg, M. & Finstad, B., Dec 2015, In : Revista de Biologia Marina y Oceanografia. 50, 3, p. 411-426

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Related by journal

  1. A general discrete-time modeling framework for animal movement using multistate random walks

    McClintock, B. T., King, R., Thomas, L., Matthiopoulos, J., McConnell, B. J. & Morales, J., Aug 2012, In : Ecological Monographs. 82, 3, p. 335-349 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Accessibility, habitat preference and conspecific competition limit the global distribution of black-browed breeding albatrosses

    Wakefield, E., Philips, R., Trathan, PN., Arata, J., Gales, R., Nichunin, N., Robertson, G., Waugh, S., Weimerskirch, H. & Matthiopoulos, J., 2011, In : Ecological Monographs. 81, p. 141-167

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Bayesian state-space modeling of metapopulation dynamics in the Glanville fritillary butterfly

    Harrison, P. J., Hanski, I. & Ovaskainen, O., Nov 2011, In : Ecological Monographs. 81, 4, p. 581-598 18 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Wind field and sex constrain the flight speeds of central-place foraging albatrosses

    Wakefield, E. D., Phillips, R. A., Matthiopoulos, J., Fukuda, A., Higutchi, H., Marshall, G. J. & Trathan, P. N., Nov 2009, In : Ecological Monographs. 79, 4, p. 663-679 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Small-mammal density estimation: A field comparison of grid-based vs. web-based density estimators

    Parmenter, R. R., Yates, T. L., Anderson, D. R., Burnham, K. P., Dunnum, J. L., Franklin, A. B., Friggens, M. T., Lubow, B. C., Miller, M., Olson, G. S., Parmenter, C. A., Pollard, J., Rexstad, E., Shenk, T. M., Stanley, T. R. & White, G. C., Feb 2003, In : Ecological Monographs. 73, p. 126 26 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Ecological Monographs (Journal)

    Stephen Terrence Buckland (Member of editorial board)
    20042007

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

ID: 797756