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Complex spatial clonal structure in the macroalgae Fucus radicans with both sexual and asexual recruitment
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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Number of Authors: 6
2015 (English)In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, E-ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 5, no 19, 4233-4245 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In dioecious species with both sexual and asexual reproduction, the spatial distribution of individual clones affects the potential for sexual reproduction and local adaptation. The seaweed Fucus radicans, endemic to the Baltic Sea, has separate sexes, but new attached thalli may also form asexually. We mapped the spatial distribution of clones (multilocus genotypes, MLGs) over macrogeographic (>500km) and microgeographic (<100m) scales in the Baltic Sea to assess the relationship between clonal spatial structure, sexual recruitment, and the potential for natural selection. Sexual recruitment was predominant in some areas, while in others asexual recruitment dominated. Where clones of both sexes were locally intermingled, sexual recruitment was nevertheless low. In some highly clonal populations, the sex ratio was strongly skewed due to dominance of one or a few clones of the same sex. The two largest clones (one female and one male) were distributed over 100-550km of coast and accompanied by small and local MLGs formed by somatic mutations and differing by 1-2 mutations from the large clones. Rare sexual events, occasional long-distance migration, and somatic mutations contribute new genotypic variation potentially available to natural selection. However, dominance of a few very large (and presumably old) clones over extensive spatial and temporal scales suggested that either these have superior traits or natural selection has only been marginally involved in the structuring of genotypes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 5, no 19, 4233-4245 p.
Keyword [en]
asexual reproduction, clonality, macroalgae, microsatellites, somatic mutations
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122750DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1629ISI: 000362523300002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-122750DiVA: diva2:871743
Available from: 2015-11-16 Created: 2015-11-10 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically 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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