Oxidative stress response in the seagrass Posidonia oceanica and the seaweed Dasycladus vermicularis associated to the invasive tropical green seaweed Halimeda incrassata.
The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most affected areas by the presence of invasive species. Halimeda incrassata (J Ellis) JV Lamoroux is newly arrived tropical seaweed in waters of the Mallorca Island (Balearic Islands, Western Mediterranean). The aim was to evaluate the effect of a potential competition between the invasive Halimeda incrassata, the native Posidonia oceanica and Dasycladus vermicularis, by means of antioxidant-related biomarkers in waters of Mallorca. The activities of the antioxidant enzymes-catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GRd)-, the levels of reduced glutathione (GSH) and malondialdehyde as indicator of lipid peroxidation were evaluated. The concentration of 3,6,7-trihydroxycoumarin (THC) was measured in D. vermicularis. P. oceanica biomarkers were not altered while D. vermicularis coexisting with the invader showed higher GSH levels (46%) and antioxidant enzyme activities (catalase 74%, SOD 65%, GPx 86% and GRd 98%), although without lipid damage. H. incrassata showed higher malondialdehyde and GSH levels (30% and 31%, respectively), and catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione reductase activities (51%, 35% and 84%, respectively) in presence of P. oceanica respect to being alone; and higher superoxide dismutase and glutathione reductase in the presence of D. vermicularis (22% and 42%, respectively). THC concentration in D. vermicularis was significantly higher (53%) in samples competing with H. incrassata. Altogether, native P. oceanica meadows seem unaffected by the alien H. incrassata-which suffered oxidative stress competing with the other species-; whereas increased antioxidant capacities were evidenced in D. vermicularis, possibly as an adaptation mechanism to the new stressful situation that reflect differences in the physiological activities of the three species. In conclusion, the presence of the invasive H. incrassata may be a competitor to be considered for D. vermicularis, while it does not seem to be a major problem for P. oceanica.