||Epibionts associated with floating Sargassum horneri in the Korea Strait
||50. Kim HM, Jo J, Park C, Choi BJ, Lee HG, Kim KY
||Algae. (2019) 34(4): 1-11
Floating seaweed rafts are a surface-pelagic habitat that serve as substrates for benthic flora and fauna. Since 2008, Sargassum horneri clumps have periodically invaded the Korea Strait. In this study, the polymerase chain reaction–free small-organelles enriched metagenomics method was adopted to identify the species of epibiotic eukaryotes present in floating S. horneri fronds. A total of 185 species were identified, of which about 63\% were previously undetected or unreported in Korean waters. The rafts harbored a diverse assemblage of eukaryotic species, including 39 Alveolata, 4 Archaeplastida, 95 Opisthokonts, 4 Rhizaria, and 43 Stramenopiles. Of these 185 taxa, 48 species were found at both Sargassum rafts collection stations and included 24 Stramenopiles, 17 Alveolata, and 7 Opisthokonts. Among these, the highest proportion (50\%) of species was photo-autotrophic mode in basic trophic modes, while the proportion of phagotrophic, osmo- or saprotrophic, and parasitic were 43.8\%, 4.2\%, and 2.1\%, respectively. This study demonstrates the contribution of floating Sargassum rafts as dispersal vectors that facilitate the spread of alien species.