A study of the distribution of algae in the Two Oceans Aquarium, Kelp Tank, Cape Town

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Bolton, John J en_ZA
dc.contributor.advisor Anderson, Robert J en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Robertson-Andersson, Deborah en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2017-11-07T09:59:44Z
dc.date.available 2017-11-07T09:59:44Z
dc.date.issued 2000 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Robertson-Andersson, D. 2000. A study of the distribution of algae in the Two Oceans Aquarium, Kelp Tank, Cape Town. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/26029
dc.description.abstract Five years have passed since the Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town, opened its doors for the first time in November 1995. Since then, a seaweed community has established itself in the Kelp tank. The seaweeds were brought in as either epiphytes on mature macro algae or as epiphytes on boulders that were placed on the floor of the tank. Thus, the community in the tank can be assumed to have established itself naturally. This study looked at the extent of the species diversity, zonation patterns in the tank (with particular reference to wall orientation), depth substrate type, plane (i.e. vertical or horizontal surfaces) and species distribution with depth. This was done by placing quadrats in transects down each wall and noting the percentage cover of each species. Quadrat depth, substrate type, wall orientation, and plane were noted. The percentage cover values as well as the environmental data were entered into CANOCO, an ordination programme for windows. Ordination showed that the tank was essentially a homogeneous environment with no difference in species distribution with regard to wall orientation, depth, substrate type, or plane. It was noted that self-seeded Ecklonia maxima were very unhealthy, small, deformed and had many epiphytes, with the exception of three plants that were growing under the plunger. From this it was concluded that water motion, and not light or nutrients, was limiting in the tank. Schimmelmannia elegans was found growing in the kelp tank. It had never been described as growing in South Africa previously. One theory was that the increased daylight length in the tank, caused by the fact that lights over the tank were often left on for extended periods, triggered a photoperiodic reproductive cue from the crustose phase (which was assumed to be growing unrecorded on the Cape Peninsular) for the sporophyte to grow. However, daylight length in the Kelp tank and Tristan da Cunha (where it was first recorded as growing) were the same so that theory was discarded. Another theory was that the algae was introduced into the tank in some way. This, however requires further investigation. Environmental conditions in the tank were investigated using aquarium records. Light intensity and duration, water temperature, pH, salinity, dissolved oxygen concentration were all found to be optimal for photosynthesis and growth to occur. Water motion was seen as the only limiting factor for photosynthesis and growth as it also has an effect on nutrient uptake. Grazer intensity was also examined. It was found that grazing by fish was stable; however, grazing by invertebrates and particularly mesa-herbivores could be increased, by adding more of them into the tank. It was found that with light being left on for functions there was no real seasonal change in light duration and this may be a problem for seaweeds that experience seasonal growth as they are missing seasonal cues. A management option of having a strictly controlled 11 hours of daylight during a winter month was proposed as a solution. This study is a good reference point for future work to be done on seaweed succession in the Kelp tank. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Botany en_ZA
dc.title A study of the distribution of algae in the Two Oceans Aquarium, Kelp Tank, Cape Town en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
dc.date.updated 2017-02-22T12:49:02Z
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Science en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Biological Sciences en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Honours en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname BSc (Hons) en_ZA
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uct.type.filetype Text
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