Here are a few key results:
- Both herbivores showed a preference for the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa but it was especially favoured by the sea urchin
- The authors state that this preference could be related to a range of factors including: differences in seagrasses nutrients, chemical and structural defenses and epibiotic load (Marco-Mendez 2015)
- Overall both herbivores showed preference for "epiphytized" leaves (new word there!)
- The authors state: "our study confirms the role of epiphytes in mediating seagrass consumption and preferences especially for Paracentrotus lividus (sea urchin) whose diet is indicated to be greatly supported by epiphytes"
In summary, the seagrass-epiphyte-herbivore relationship is a complex one but this research has done a great job of highlighting the ecological role of epiphytes in a very different, non-forest, habitat.