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Lecture 16

Lecture 16

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University of Guelph
BIOL 4150
Andrew Mac Dougall

Population Ecology Lecture NotesLecture 16Case Study Algal Blooms Algal blooms occur due to nutrient excess provided by pollution sewage etcHughes T P 1994In the Caribbean coral reef community the sea urchin Diadema planci was the main algal predatorThe sea urchin populations were infected with a pathogen that resulted in a population crashIn the absence of urchins lack of topdown regulation algal populations increased greatly and eventually exploded with nitrogen and phosphorus water pollutionAlgae compete for space with young corals therefore without predation to keep algae biomass in check the algae covered previously bare areas needed by young corals to establish themselves Long Term Results reducing populations of urchins indirectly reduces coral reproductive successPossible Solution Adding predatory fish piscivores may result in a trophic cascade that reduces algal levels while not affecting nutrient levels in the waterCase Study Predator lossTerborgh et al 2001In Venezuela a set of manmade predatorfree islands were created
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