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Reproductive phenology of the introduced kelp Undaria pinnatifida (Phaeophyceae, Laminariales) in Port Phillip Bay (Victoria, Australia)
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by C Primo, Chad HewittChad Hewitt, Marnie CampbellMarnie Campbell
A thorough understanding of the reproductive phenology of introduced species is crucial for effective management and control. Undaria pinnatifida is an invasive macroalga from the Northwest Pacific which has been recently introduced into three countries in the Southern Hemisphere: Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. Reproductive phenological studies in Port Phillip Bay, Australia, were undertaken and compared with other populations in the Southern Hemisphere, especially with those from Tasmania which were suspected to be very different. The growth season began earlier in Port Phillip Bay than in Tasmanian populations, and abundance was higher. Growth rates were lower in Port Phillip Bay, but this might be due to the different morphology of both populations. The maximum spore release competency of U. pinnatifida in Port Phillip Bay was 12.1 X 10^5 spores cm^-2 h^-1 which is 20 times the maximum obtained in Tasmania (0.6 X 10^5 spores cm^-2 h^-1). For most of the growth season, spore release competency ranged between 2 and 3 X 10^5 spores cm^-2 h^-1, 3–5 times more than in Tasmania. Undaria pinnatifida has not been established outside Port Phillip Bay in continental Australia, but a precautionary approach should be undertaken in order to avoid further spread. Monitoring for early detection and removal of immature sporophytes prior to spore release seem to be the best options. This monitoring should be continuous since new recruits may appear throughout the growth season (April– February) and it should be combined with informative programmes to reduce the chances of spread.