WP3- CoNISMa and University of Salento -Transplanting of Cystoseira (Salento)

The Merces video produced by CoNISMa- University of Salento for WP3 aims to describe all the steps of the experiment of transplanting of the brown alga Cystoseira amentacea. This is a typical species of the Mediterranean Sea, disappearing from our shores under multiple anthropogenic pressures. Within Merces, we transplanted juveniles of Cystoseira amentacea with and without the presence of adults, in different locations where human pressures are reduced, including the Protected Marine Areas of Torre Guaceto and Porto Cesareo (Apulia, Italy). In the experiment, we also test the potential effect of herbivory by fishes and invertebrates. In laboratory, cages have been realized and fixed to rocky shores with extensions to stop herbivory from fish and invertebrates. Juveniles have been obtained from the terminal receptacles of the fertile thalli and used for their reproduction and growth in the laboratory. The thalli have been fixed on small tiles and exposed to controlled temperature and light conditions, waiting for the zygotes to be released. Once ready, juveniles have been transported to the sea and transplanted inside and outside the cages to test the effects of herbivory, in presence and absence of adults of the same species. A photographic sampling over time will monitor survival, growth and potential colonization of tiles by other organisms. To date, 900 tiles have been dislocated on rocky shores and we are now waiting the growth of hundreds of thalli of Cystoseira amentacea to restore the canopy that this alga was able to form.