Table_2_Investigating Waves and Temperature as Drivers of Kelp Morphology.DOCX (16.39 kB)

Table_2_Investigating Waves and Temperature as Drivers of Kelp Morphology.DOCX

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posted on 15.07.2020 by Ross Coppin, Christo Rautenbach, Timothy John Ponton, A. J. Smit

Macroalgal morphological variation is determined to a large extent by a combination of environmental factors, with wave exposure and temperature perhaps the main influences, as they are key environmental properties to which a species becomes locally adapted. Macroalgae have shown to exhibit different responses to different magnitudes of exposure to waves, such as reduction in overall size and strength increasing traits. In terms of temperature, warmer environments have been shown to reduce the overall size of resident and transplanted species. However, none of the past studies have identified specific wave and temperature metrics responsible for the morphological adaptation macroalgae exhibit. Past research has often used simple or two-dimensional models of wave exposure, which do not take into account important aspects of the nearshore environment such as wave breaking, refraction and diffraction. Furthermore, past studies have often used satellite-derived datasets as sources for temperature data, however, such data have been shown to have large bias when applied to the nearshore environment. This study used in situ temperature data and wave power metrics calculated from a 3D-numerical model to identify specific temperature and wave metrics responsible for morphological adaptation of the kelp, Ecklonia maxima and Laminaria pallida. Between temperature and wave exposure, the results identify wave exposure as the main influencer of morphological adaptation while identifying specific wave metrics. Furthermore, the results show differences in wave metrics between species; and between deep and shallow populations.