(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)
Title: Colonization and distribution of the epophytes melobesia mediocris and smithora naiadum on the sea grasss Phyllospadix torreyi
Student Author(s): Willcocks, Patricia Anne
Faculty Advisor(s): Abbott, Isabella
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1980
Keywords: symbiosis at the seashore
Abstract: The distribution of the epiphytes Melobesia mediocris (Fosl) Setch & Mason and Smithora naiadum (Anders.) Hollenb. on the seagrass Phyllospadix torreyi Watson was surveyed around Mussel Point at Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, California, in the spring of 1980. Melobesia was found to be the dominat epiphyte on Phyllospadix along the wave exposed western side of the point, while Smithora was found in abundance on the more protected eastern side. Colonization in the field of the new growth of Phyllospadix by the epiphytes occured within 25 hours. It appears that Melobesia will colonize young blades more rapidly and in greater numbers that Smithora. Percent cover of Melobesia on Phyllospadix was lowest on the new growth, increased in the older portions of the blade, and low at the senescent ends of the lamina. Population structure showed male gametophytes to be rare and tetrasporophytes and female gametophytes in almost equal abundace. Mean diameters of tetrasporophytes were larger than those of the female gametophytes. These mature plants however showed no increase in size with age.