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Fucus radicans: Reproduction, adaptation & distribution patterns
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
2013 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Baltic Sea is considered an ecological marginal environment, where both marine and freshwater species struggle to adapt to its ever changing conditions. Fucus vesiculosus (bladderwrack) is commonly seen as the foundation species in the Baltic Sea, as it is the only large perennial macroalgae, forming vast belts down to a depth of about 10 meters. The salinity gradient results in an increasing salinity stress for all marine organisms. This is commonly seen in many species as a reduction in size. What was previously described as a low salinity induced dwarf morph of F. vesiculosus was recently proved to be a separate species, when genetic tools were used. This new species, Fucus radicans (narrow wrack) might be the first endemic species to the Baltic Sea, having separated from its mother species F. vesiculosus as recent as 400 years ago. Fucus radicans is only found in the Bothnian Sea and around the Estonian island Saaremaa. The Swedish/Finnish populations have a surprisingly high level of clonality. As much as up to 80% of the individuals on the Swedish side are clones, dominated by one female clone that has been found over a range of 550 km. In spite of this ability to asexual propagation, we do not find F. radicans further south than Öregrund in Sweden, and even further north in Finland. I attempt to find out why.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University , 2013. , 22 p.
Plants & Ecology, ISSN 1651-9248 ; 2013/2
Keyword [en]
Fucus radicans, Fucus vesiculosus, reproduction, Baltic Sea
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Marine Ecology; Plant Ecology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-87848OAI: diva2:606901
Available from: 2013-02-21 Created: 2013-02-21 Last updated: 2015-05-25Bibliographically approved

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Plants & Ecology 2013_2(519 kB)417 downloads
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Schagerström, Ellen
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Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
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