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Strength, drag, and dislodgment of two competing intertidal algae from two wave exposures and four seasons
PRATT Marney C. ; JOHNSON Amy S.
Intertidal macroalgae often experience greater risk of dislodgment with increasing size because of underscaling of breaking force of their stipes relative to drag on their thalli. This ratio (breaking force/drag) indicates safety from breakage at a given flow speed, with values greater than one indicating safety from breakage and values lower than one indicating danger of breakage. We examined this force ratio for the largest thalli of two species of co-dominant, red algae, Chondrus crispus Stackhouse and Mastocarpus stellatus Stack. In With. (Guiry), in four seasons at two wave exposures. During fall and winter, the largest thalli in both populations were dislodged resulting in a decrease in mass of the largest thalli found. This decrease was greater for Chondrus than for Mastocarpus, but their mass-specific force ratios (at 0.55 m s-1) were equal indicating similar size-specific risk of dislodgment. The equality of force ratios was underlain by two similarities: (1) breaking force was independent of mass and not different between species; (2) mass-specific drag was not different between species. These similarities were underlain by dissimilar causes: (i) similarity in breaking force (the product of cross-sectional area and material strength) occurred because greater material strength of Mastocarpus compensated for greater mass-specific cross-sectional area of Chondrus; (ii) similarity in mass-specific drag (a function of planform area and the coefficient of drag) occu
Elsevier Science
ISSN : 0022-0981 CODEN : JEMBAM
Journal of experimental marine biology and ecology A. 2002, vol. 272, n° 1, pp. 71-101 [bibl. : 2 p.1/4]
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