Gastropods associated to three reef macroalgae with different architectures

Rafaela C. S. Duarte¹, Ellori L. S. Mota¹, Iapoema C. S. Almeida¹, André L. M. Pessanha¹, Martin L. Christoffersen² & Thelma L. P. Dias¹

¹ Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Conservação, Universidade Estadual da Paraíba. Campina
Grande, PB, Brazil.
² Departamento de Sistemática e Ecologia, Universidade Federal da Paraíba. João Pessoa, PB, Brazil.


An inventory of the gastropods associated with three species of reef macroalgae having different thallus structures are provided. We discuss how algal architecture influences diversity patterns, abundance and species richness. Fronds of the macroalgae Gracilaria domingensis (Kützing) Sonder ex Dickie, 1874, Padina pavonica (Linnaeus) Thivy, 1960, and Cryptonemia bengryi W.R. Taylor, 1960 were collected in coastal reefs of Cabo Branco Beach, João Pessoa, State of Paraíba, Northeastern Brazil. Thalli were sorted in the laboratory to remove the associated mollusks. The macroalgae Gracilaria domingensis and Cryptonemia bengryi presented the most heterogeneous thallus architecture. The mollusk community comprised 18 species of gastropods, belonging to 14 genera. In total, 402 specimens were recorded, of which micromollusks predominated. The most frequent species were Eulithidium affine (C.B. Adams, 1850) (80% of occurrence), Rissoina sagraiana (d’Orbigny, 1842) (60%), Astyris lunata (Say, 1826) (40%), and Phyllaplysia engeli Marcus, 1955 (33.3%), the latter representing a new record for the coast of Paraíba state. The algae C. bengryi and G. domingensis presented highest values of richness and diversity for the associated malacofauna (F1,6= 10.14; p= 0.0001). Differences in the associated mollusk communities among the three species, as well as differences in the ecological descriptors for each alga, suggest that the algal architecture influences the richness, diversity, and composition of microgastropods in the marine phytal.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is download-pdf-button.png

Cite as: Duarte R.C.S., Mota E.L.S., Almeida I.C.S., Pessanha A.L.M., Christoffersen M.L. & Dias T.L.P. (2015) Gastropods associated to three reef macroalgae with different architectures. Strombus 22(1–2): 5–18.

Publication date: 31 December 2015.