Exploring the role of macroalgal traits on the feeding behaviour of a generalist herbivore in Malaysian waters

Lim, Wai Yin and Lim, Phaik Eem and Amri, Affendi Yang and Song, Sze Looi and Cheng, Acga (2020) Exploring the role of macroalgal traits on the feeding behaviour of a generalist herbivore in Malaysian waters. Botanica Marina, 63 (5). pp. 407-417. ISSN 0006-8055, DOI https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2020-0029.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2020-0029


With the potential adverse effects of climate change, it is essential to enhance the understanding of marine ecosystem dynamics, which can be driven by the co-evolutionary interaction between autotrophs and herbivores. This study looked into the autotroph-herbivore interactions in Malaysian waters, mainly to determine if autotroph nutritional quality significantly influences herbivore consumption rates. We documented the relative consumption rate of a generalist herbivore (Chanos chanos Forsskål) obtained from the Straits of Malacca through multiple feeding trials using 12 macroalgal species collected from different coastal areas of the Straits of Malacca, the Straits of Johor, and the South China Sea. The herbivore fed selectively on the tested macroalgal species, with the most and least consumed species having the lowest and highest total nitrogen content, respectively. Besides total nitrogen content, the least consumed species also had the highest total phenolic content. Interestingly, we observed that the herbivore generally preferred to consume filamentous macroalgae, especially those collected from the South China Sea. Overall, our findings demonstrated that the feeding behaviour of a generalist herbivore could be influenced by the nutritional quality of the autotrophs, which may depend directly or indirectly on other factors such as autotroph morphology and geography. © 2020 Lim Wai Yin et al., published by De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston 2020.

Item Type: Article
Funders: University of Malaya under Research University Grant (grant number: RU003F-2017)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autotroph-herbivore interaction; Generalist herbivore; Macroalgal nutritional quality; Relative consumption rate
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Institute of Biological Sciences
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Office > Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2021 04:34
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2021 04:34
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/25754

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