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Grazing and geographic range of the Baltic seaweed Fucus radicans (Phaeophyceae)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
2012 (English)In: Marine Biology Research, ISSN 1745-1000, E-ISSN 1745-1019, Vol. 8, no 4, 322-330 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The range of the recently described seaweed Fucus radicans is limited to the Bothnian Sea and the northern Baltic Sea while the range of the sympatric Fucus vesiculosus extends outside the Baltic Sea. Here we present results from a survey of the distribution and relative abundance of F. radicans and F. vesiculosus and abundance of associated herbivores along the range of F. radicans in Sweden. Both Fucus species were equally common. Herbivores were found in significantly higher numbers on F. radicans. The range of the herbivore Idotea balthica overlaps the southern range of F. radicans and is known to decrease the abundance of fucoids through grazing. We therefore hypothesized that if I. balthica has a preference for F. radicans it could affect the range of F. radicans. To test the preference of I. balthica we performed a bioassay where it had a choice between F. radicans and F. vesiculosus. Another bioassay was performed with the most common herbivore in our survey, Gammarus spp. Both herbivores consumed significantly more F. radicans than F. vesiculosus. Our results indicate that grazing may be an important factor in limiting the southern range of F. radicans along the Swedish coast.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 8, no 4, 322-330 p.
Keyword [en]
The Baltic Sea, Idotea balthica, phlorotannin, distribution, growth rate
National Category
Botany Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79567DOI: 10.1080/17451000.2011.637565ISI: 000302439700002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-79567DiVA: diva2:550097
Available from: 2012-09-06 Created: 2012-09-06 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Herbivory, phenotypic variation, and reproductive barriers in fucoids
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Herbivory, phenotypic variation, and reproductive barriers in fucoids
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Along the shores of the Northern hemisphere Fucus (Phaeophyceae) species are a prominent presence, providing substrate, shelter, and food for many species. Fucus evanescens, a non-indigenous species (NIS) in Sweden, and F. radicans, a recently described species that so far has only been found inside the species poor Baltic Sea, are the focus of this thesis.

Interactions with enemies (e.g. predators, herbivores, parasites) have been shown to play a role in the success of NIS. The low consumption of Fucus evanescens by the generalist gastropod Littorina littorea in Sweden was found to depend on high levels of chemical defense in the introduced population, not the failure of the herbivore to recognize F. evanescens as suitable food.

A survey of the relative abundance of F. radicans and F. vesiculosus and the most common associated fauna along the Swedish Bothnian Sea coast showed that F. radicans and F. vesiculosus are equally abundant throughout the range of F. radicans. The most common associated fauna were found to be more abundant on F. radicans compared to F. vesiculosus.  In Sweden, where F. radicans had lower levels of defense chemicals than F. vesiculosus, F. radicans was grazed more than F. vesiculosus in bioassays. This could, together with other factors, influence the range of F. radicans.

Fucus radicans and F. vesiculosus are closely related, recently separated, and growing sympatrically, therefore, possible reproductive barriers between F. radicans and F. vesiculosus were studied. In Estonia F. radicans and F. vesiculosus reproduces at different times of the year. No such clear reproductive barrier was found between the two species in Sweden where they reproduce at the same time and fertilization success and germling survival were the same for hybrids as for F. vesiculosus.

Since the high clonality of F. radicans means that the gentic diversity in F. radicans populations is low I investigated how genetic diversity translates to phenotypic diversity in nine traits. Phlorotannin levels, recovery after desiccation, and recovery after freezing showed inherited variation, while the other six traits showed no variation related to genetic diversity. Phenotypic variation in populations of F. radicans will be higher in populations with higher genetic diversity and this might be beneficial to the community.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Botany, Stockholm University, 2012. 49 p.
Keyword
Non-indigenous species, Enemy Release Hypothesis, Asexual reproduction, Phlorotannins, Distribution
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79481 (URN)978-91-7447-538-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-10-11, föreläsningssalen, Botaniska institutionen, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Accepted.

Available from: 2012-09-19 Created: 2012-09-04 Last updated: 2012-09-06Bibliographically approved

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