Hopkins Marine Station Student Paper

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(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)

Title: The relationship of some epizoic green algae (Enteromorpha species) to their limpet hosts
Student Author(s): Gerbino, Peter G. II
Faculty Advisor(s): Abbott, Isabella A.
Pages: 19
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1980
Keywords: symbiosis at the seashore
Abstract: Small green algae are commonly observed growing only on the backs of mid-intertidal limpets. A closer examination was made of this relationship. Several different green algae were found growing on limpet shells. Of these, Percursaria dawsonii (Hollenberg & Abbott 1968), and two species of Enteromorpha (Link , 1820) are morphologically very similar. The most heavily foliated limpets were found living on vertical landward faces of wave exposed rocks between +1 and +4 feet of Mean Lower Low Water. Fronds of one species of Enteromorpha, labelled E. sp.2 achieved greater length at sites which were more exposed to wave than where wave action was less severe. Enteromorpha sp.2 did not survive on limpet shells which were permanently affixed to mid-tidal rocks. In culture, E. sp.2 continued to grow on these empty shells. Additionally E. sp.2 grew in culture on granite, plastic, wood, Pollicipes plates, Mytilus shell, and free floating in the culture medium. A procedure for statistically measuring and comparing the cells of these algae is described and the relationship of one alga to its hosts is discussed.