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Improvement of Baltic Sea coastal ecosystems indicated by increased distribution of Fucus vesiculosus L. since 1984
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. (Marin ekotoxikologi)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. (Marin ekologi)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. (Marin ekologi)
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Although there are several reports of continued eutrophication in the open Baltic Sea, we found increased distribution and depth penetration of Fucus vesiculosus in the coastal, phytobenthic system, indicating recovery. After a decline in depth penetration of Fucus in the Åland Sea by 3 m, from a maximum of 11.5 m in the 1940s to 8.5 m in 1984, the Fucus plants had again increased their depth distribution in 1992 and 1996, and in 2006 being back to the depths of the 1940s. Also, in the Askö area, data from the national monitoring programme show an increase of the Fucus maximum depth by 1 m between 1993 and 2009. We used Generalized Additive Models (GAM) to predict the change in percent cover of Fucus in the Askö area from 1993 to 2009. The largest change in Fucus coverage was predicted to occur in the inner parts of the archipelago, decreasing further out, thus being related to reductions in nutrient inputs from land sources. The field data however, showed the largest changes in the middle part since coverage and depth penetration of Fucus in the inner parts are limited by the quick change with depth from hard to soft substrates. In the Askö area the results in the inner archipelago could be linked to an increase in the spring Secchi depth since the beginning of the 1990s. The Secchi depth change was in accordance with the trends of decreasing spring primary production and chlorophyll-a concentration. As the most pronounced change in Secchi depth during the time period was a decrease in July and August, the summer conditions seem to have little influence on the depth distribution of Fucus.

Keyword [en]
Eutrophication, Baltic Sea, Fucus vesiculosus, depth distribution, SCUBA, monitoring
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Marine Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-54356OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-54356DiVA: diva2:393440
Available from: 2011-01-31 Created: 2011-01-31 Last updated: 2011-01-31Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Modelling spatial and temporal species distribution in the Baltic Sea phytobenthic zone
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modelling spatial and temporal species distribution in the Baltic Sea phytobenthic zone
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Statistical modelling is often used to relate the presence or abundance of species to environmental predictors, thereby providing a basis for predictive mapping of species or biodiversity. The variables included must thus be relevant and reflect actual changes in the environment. Therefore, the quantification of species–environment relationships is an important aspect of predictive modelling.

This thesis examines how phytobenthic species or communities in the Baltic Sea relate to environmental gradients, and if different aspects of phytobenthic species distribution in the Baltic Sea could be explained by spatial or temporal variation in environmental factors. Predictive distribution modelling usually focuses on how environmental variables control the distribution of species or communities. Thus the relative weight of the predictor variables on different scales is of importance. In this thesis, I show that the relative importance of environmental variables depends both on geographic scale and location, and that it also differs between species or species groups.

There are no simple explanations to the temporal variability in species occurrence. I here show that the temporal changes in species distribution within the phytobentic zone varies in a spatial context. I also try to find temporal and spatio-temporal patterns in species distribution that could be related to changes in climate or anthropogenic disturbance. However, the findings in this thesis suggest that single factor explanations are insufficient for explaining large-scale changes in species distribution. A greater understanding of the relationship between species and their environment will lead to the development of more sensitive models of species distributions. The predictions can be used to visualise spatial changes in the distribution of plant and animal communities over time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, 2011. 38 p.
Keyword
species distribution modelling, niche, gradient, prediction, environmental factors, phytobenthos, scale
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Marine Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-54269 (URN)978-91-7447-230-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-03-04, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript. Paper 5: Manuscript.Available from: 2011-02-10 Created: 2011-01-27 Last updated: 2011-01-31Bibliographically approved

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