Kelp detritus provides high-quality food for sea urchin larvae

Colette Feehan, Beatrice C. Grauman-Boss, Richard R. Strathmann, Megan N. Dethier, David O. Duggins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Highly productive kelps release abundant particulate organic matter into the nearshore environment due to their constant fragmentation and erosion by ocean waves. The contribution of kelp detritus to coastal planktonic food webs has not previously been examined. Here, we demonstrate that detritus derived from a dominant kelp in the Northeast Pacific, Nereocystis luetkeana, provides high-quality food for planktonic sea urchin larvae. Our findings challenge the paradigm that phytoplankton are the main diet for zooplankton in nearshore regions, with implications for modeling of ocean production. Furthermore, at the benthic adult stage, sea urchins can destructively graze kelps causing the kelp ecosystem to collapse; hence, our results have implications for understanding feedback mechanisms that may determine the resilience of kelp ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S299-S306
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Volume63
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2018

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food quality
Echinoidea
detritus
macroalgae
larva
nearshore environment
ecosystem
larvae
feedback mechanism
ocean wave
particulate organic matter
food web
zooplankton
fragmentation
oceans
phytoplankton
diet
erosion
ecosystems
ocean

Cite this

Feehan, C., Grauman-Boss, B. C., Strathmann, R. R., Dethier, M. N., & Duggins, D. O. (2018). Kelp detritus provides high-quality food for sea urchin larvae. Limnology and Oceanography, 63, S299-S306. https://doi.org/10.1002/lno.10740
Feehan, Colette ; Grauman-Boss, Beatrice C. ; Strathmann, Richard R. ; Dethier, Megan N. ; Duggins, David O. / Kelp detritus provides high-quality food for sea urchin larvae. In: Limnology and Oceanography. 2018 ; Vol. 63. pp. S299-S306.
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Feehan, C, Grauman-Boss, BC, Strathmann, RR, Dethier, MN & Duggins, DO 2018, 'Kelp detritus provides high-quality food for sea urchin larvae', Limnology and Oceanography, vol. 63, pp. S299-S306. https://doi.org/10.1002/lno.10740

Kelp detritus provides high-quality food for sea urchin larvae. / Feehan, Colette; Grauman-Boss, Beatrice C.; Strathmann, Richard R.; Dethier, Megan N.; Duggins, David O.

In: Limnology and Oceanography, Vol. 63, 01.03.2018, p. S299-S306.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Feehan C, Grauman-Boss BC, Strathmann RR, Dethier MN, Duggins DO. Kelp detritus provides high-quality food for sea urchin larvae. Limnology and Oceanography. 2018 Mar 1;63:S299-S306. https://doi.org/10.1002/lno.10740