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Does thalli complexity and biomass affect the associated flora and fauna of two co-occurring Fucus species in the Baltic Sea?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
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2014 (English)In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, ISSN 0272-7714, E-ISSN 1096-0015, Vol. 149, 187-193 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

On rocky shores, fucoids provide habitat, shelter and food for associated biota. In the northern parts of the Baltic, the Bothnian Sea, the new fucoid species Fucus radicans (Bergstrom et Kautsky) was recently described. This study compares the thallus complexity and size as well as quantified the abundance and biomass of epiphytic algae and invertebrate taxa of the two fucoid species F. radicans and Fucus vesiculosus L. from sympatric sites in the Bothnian Sea on the Swedish coast and around the Estonian island Saaremaa. We found that F. radicans was more complex than F. vesiculosus within the whole study range, but both species had a more complex thallus structure in the Bothnian Sea compared to Estonia. The complexity of host algae did not contribute to their associated flora and fauna taxon richness; instead, the size of thalli was a good proxy for associated communities. Specifically, on a biomass basis, F. vesiculosus displayed highest species richness and highest faunal abundance in the Bothnian Sea, whereas no such differences were found around Saaremaa, probably because both Focus species had similar height around Saaremaa whereas F. vesiculosus grew much taller and larger in the Bothnian Sea. There were some unique associated macroalgal and invertebrate species that were found only on either of the fucoids, indicating the importance of separating them as species in surveys and monitoring.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 149, 187-193 p.
Keyword [en]
Baltic Sea, foundation species, macroalgae, benthic invertebrates
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Biological Sciences
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113140DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2014.08.022ISI: 000346220800019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-113140DiVA: diva2:791333
Note

AuthorCount:5;

Available from: 2015-02-27 Created: 2015-01-23 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. On the endemic Fucus radicans in the Baltic Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On the endemic Fucus radicans in the Baltic Sea
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The brown macroalgae Fucus radicans is endemic to the Baltic Sea, but little is known about this newly described species. This thesis investigates the ecology and role of F. radicans within the species poor Baltic Sea ecosystem. The thallus of F. radicans had a more complex structure but was smaller than F. vesiculosus, the other important foundation species with which it grows in sympatry at several sites. The variability of the associated flora and fauna communities of these two Fucus species, however, was explained by the thallus size, not the complexity. Comparisons between the populations of F. radicans in the Bothnian Sea with those in Väinameri Sea on the Estonian coast, showed that the Estonian thalli were smaller, less complex and lacking the numerous adventitious branches which occur extensively in the Bothnian Sea populations.

The distribution of F. radicans in Sweden is limited to the Bothnian Sea coast. The low salinity at the northern limit prevented successful fertilization, while increased salinity did not restrict F. radicans but improved its reproductive success. The southern distribution limit was instead shown to be negatively impacted by a combination of grazing and competition. The asexual reproduction through settling of detached fragments was favoured by high light levels and high temperature in laboratory conditions. Re-attachment occurred by basally formed rhizoids but settling also occurred through a calcium-rich substance, seemingly secreted by the fragment. Genetic spatial distribution of F. radicans showed a dominance of a few widespread clones both within and between sites with an intermingled rather than clustered pattern. The extensive female clone, common in most sites, is most likely old and several clonal lineages have derived from her.  Although more clearly expressed in the clonal populations, the macroscopic sexual dimorphism discovered appears to be a species specific trait in F. radicans. This thesis presents further insight in F. radicans role within the Baltic Sea ecosystem and its value as a study species for adaptation, clonality and speciation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, 2015. 66 p.
Keyword
seaweed, sexual reproduction, clonality, fragmentation, dimorphism, salinity, distribution
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-117584 (URN)978-91-7649-196-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-09-18, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript. Paper 5: Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-06-11 Created: 2015-05-25 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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