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MACROALGAE COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND DYNAMICS ON MEDITERRANEAN SUBSURFACE PLATFORMS OF PIGEON ISLAND, ISRAEL

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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Pigeon Island, a small nature reserve on the East Mediterranean coast of Israel, is surrounded by abrasion platforms covered with seaweed. The subject of this paper is the community ecology of these macroalgae populations as a function of environmental factors.Redundancy analysis (RDA) enabled us to rank the measured environmental variables in order of their correlation with vegetation gradients, and to estimate the statistical significance of the correlation by means of Monte Carlo testing. Ordination results showed that most samples line up along a complex gradient corresponding to the transect running from sea front (“front”) to island edge (“inside”). The effect of this gradient was exaggerated by an additional north-south gradient. Hence the most extreme samples were front-north (exposed) and inside-south (sheltered). The first, most exposed, meter of the transect was favored by most of the algal species. Species richness of the front samples was significantly higher than of inside samples. The two most important physical factors were impact of wave activity and distance from seawater. Waves are the source of dissolved CO2, hence the site with the higher wave energy was the most favorable, and showed the strongest competition among plants.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University einavr@ashur.cc.biu.ac.il ; 2: Nature Reserves Authority

10.1080/07929978.1998.10676719
/content/journals/10.1080/07929978.1998.10676719
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/content/journals/10.1080/07929978.1998.10676719
1998-05-13
2018-09-23

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