Article scientifique au sujet des macroalgues du Saint-Laurent
Seaweeds are a conspicuous and important part of coastal ecosystems at temperate latitudes, providing food and habitat to benthic communities. Algal assemblages in the St. Lawrence marine ecosystem (Canada) are largely dominated by rockweeds (e.g., Fucus and Ascophyllum) in intertidal zones, and kelp (e.g., Alaria, Saccharina and Agarum) and coralline algae in subtidal zones. Despite the fact that harvesting and cultivation are slowly expanding, there has been relatively little work done to study their ecology. Moreover, in spite of parallels with the similar Atlantic coastal ecosystems in eastern Canada and Europe, there are striking functional differences, primarily related to 2 mechanisms of disturbance: uncontrolled herbivory by sea urchins in subtidal communities and ice scouring in intertidal communities. In many regions of the St. Lawrence marine ecosystem, these disturbance agents greatly reduce the extent of seaweed assemblages, raising concerns about the potential exploitation of seaweed stocks. Therefore, more information on the current distribution and abundance of these stocks is needed. In addition, further development of seaweed aquaculture is required to conserve stocks for their ecological services, and to provide higher quality and more dependable resources for emerging markets. This knowledge will be essential in the context of the changes caused by global warming and invasions by an increasing number of exotic species.
Keywords : aquaculture, global change, ecology, St. Lawrence marine ecosystem, seaweed
Source: Le naturaliste canadien