Impact of Caulerpa taxifolia colonization on the littoral ichthyofauna of North-Western Mediterranean sea: preliminary results

TitleImpact of Caulerpa taxifolia colonization on the littoral ichthyofauna of North-Western Mediterranean sea: preliminary results
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsFrancour, P., Harmelin-Vivien M., Harmelin J. G., & Duclerc J.
Refereed DesignationRefereed
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume300-301
Issue1
Pagination345 - 353
Date Published3/1995
ISSN1573-5117
Abstract

After its accidental introduction in the French waters of the Mediterranean, the green seaweed Caulerpa taxifolia is now spreading along the coast of the Alpes-Maritimes, invading various biotopes (rock, sand and Posidonia oceanica seagrass beds). During the spring and fall of 1992, we evaluated the impact of C. taxifolia on the infralittoral ichthyofauna of Cap Martin (Menton) and compared invaded and reference sites, in shallow (3–8 m) and deep (11–25 m) stations.
Caulerpa taxifolia apparently does not have any effect on the composition and global species richness of the ichthyofauna. Therefore, no exclusion phenomenon has been observed and fish behavior has remained normal (feeding habits, reproduction, recruitment). However, fish density and biomass are slightly lower in the colonized sites. Negative regression was observed, in shallow sites during the spring season, between the percentage of substrate invaded by C. taxifolia and the average density of fish assemblages (slope= –0.13, r=0.26, p<0.01). despite="" these="" observations,="">C. taxifolia meadows seem to be a favorable environment for the recruitment of some species of Labridae (Coris julis, Symphodus ocellatus), Sparidae (Diplodus annularis) and Serranidae (Serranus cabrilla) in the fall.
The relative importance of C. taxifolia as environmental parameter and of other habitat characteristics (structural complexity, substrate slope, hydrodynamism, depth, fishing pressure) is discussed to explain these differences. The results of this first study indicate that there exists no simple relation between the presence of C. taxifolia and fish assemblages.

DOI10.1007/BF00024475
Short TitleHydrobiologia