Despite marine traits, the endemic Fucus radicans (Phaeophyceae) is restricted to the brackish Baltic Sea
Number of Authors: 2
2016 (English)In: European journal of phycology, ISSN 0967-0262, E-ISSN 1469-4433, Vol. 51, no 4, 378-386 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Many of the marine species that were introduced to the Baltic Sea during the Littorina stage (c. 8500-3000 years BP), e.g. Fucus vesiculosus and F. serratus, have adapted to the present low salinity. These marine species have gone from marine conditions into lower salinity environments. In this paper we ask why the recently discovered endemic brown alga Fucus radicans shows the opposite pattern. Fucus radicans is only present in the northern parts of the Baltic Sea, the low salinity Bothnian Sea (4-6 psu). Potentially, the fitness of F. radicans might be reduced in higher salinities if it is better adapted to brackish conditions. We hypothesize, however, that the southern distribution limit of F. radicans is set by biotic factors, e.g. competition with F. vesiculosus and higher grazing pressure by Idotea balthica and not by salinity. Our results show that the reproductive output of F. radicans is limited by low salinity (4 psu) but increases in higher salinities. However, the southern distribution limit, i.e. the northern Baltic Proper, is regulated by biotic factors, where the additive effects from shading by taller F. vesiculosus thalli and grazing on F. radicans by the isopod I. balthica limit the biomass production of F. radicans. We suggest that F. radicans still maintains marine traits due to its ability to propagate clonally and is restricted to the Bothnian Sea by interactions with F. vesiculosus and I. balthica. We also propose that increased precipitation due to climate change might affect the northern range limit and that the distribution of F. radicans could be expected to shift further south into the Baltic Proper.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 51, no 4, 378-386 p.
competition, distribution range, egg production, fertilization, grazing, Idotea balthica, reproductive success, salinity, shading
Research subject Plant Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-136955DOI: 10.1080/09670262.2016.1183234ISI: 000387617100002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-136955DiVA: diva2:1059346