Natural history of the terrestrial green alga, Prasiola crispa (Trebouxiophyceae), and associated Herring Gulls on Brier Island, Nova Scotia
The local distribution of Prasiola crispa is reported for the first time in Nova Scotia. It was common on emergent basalt outcrops in a coastal wetland on the Bay of Fundy shores of Brier Island. The alga was present on 19 of 102 basalt outcrops in one of the breeding colonies of the Herring Gull, Larus argentatus, and was only associated with basalt outcrops with gull feces. Patches of P. crispa were typically associated with the north facing slopes of the rock or were present in depressions or parts of the rock shaded by adjacent vegetation. At Western Light, the gulls are both facilitating the presence of P. crispa and acting as ecosystem engineers by nesting in the adjoining vegetation where their trampling and nutrient inputs are modifying the surrounding wetland ecosystem.