Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We started studying algae this week and it has been an interesting transition from invertebrates to algae. The variety of body plans, color and special features of the invertebrates was amazing and, well, algae just don't have many of the features that made the invertebrates so interesting. Nonetheless, we've been having a great time with Annette - our lecturer for this section. Annette has a contagious laugh that makes us all giggle our way through the algae lectures. I never would have thought I'd be laughing over algae!

The first day of class, we had a lecture about the importances of algae in the intertidal. We made a list, and Annette asked us to post it for everyone to see.

1. List at least 4 ways that invertebrates “use” or interact with seaweeds.
Use seaweed as food- limpets, sea urchins, chitons
Use seaweed as habitat- crabs and isopods
Dead invertebrates are a nutrition source for seaweed
Camouflage used by the decorator crab and limpets
Symbiosis with lichens
2. List 2 or 3 invertebrates you have seen “wearing” epibonts of marine algae
Decorator crab, limpets, urchins, cnidarians (endozoic), mussels and barnacles
3. List 1 invertebrate you have observed that seems to be “disturbed” by seaweeds. How?3.
It inhibits feeding through the whiplash effect
4. List 1 invertebrate that you have observed that seemed to be controlling seaweed species composition. How?
Urchins and limpets (halo effect)

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