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Keywords:

  • epiphyte;
  • epiphytism;
  • host;
  • Sargassum;
  • vertical distribution

SUMMARY

Although epiphytism is generally heaviest on older portions of the host thallus and both variation and abundance of epiphytes decrease with proximity to meristematic apices, Neosiphonia harveyi (Bailey) Kim, Choi, Guiry and Saunders was frequently found on upper parts of sargassacean hosts. This study compared density, thallus length and fertility of epiphytic N. harveyi among different regions of Sargassum patens C. Agardh thalli to reveal a unique distribution pattern of this epiphyte. The majority of epiphytic N. harveyi was observed on the upper part of host thalli and was seldom seen near the basal part. Over a 3-month period, mean epiphyte density was greater on host apices while thallus length and fertility were greater on subapical portions of host thalli, suggesting the colonization by this epiphyte near the apical part of the host. Distribution patterns of this epiphyte were similar among S. patens growing at different depths. Apical portions of S. patens appear to be more suitable substrata for N. harveyi settlement and colonization compared with other portions of the host thallus, regardless of depth.