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  • 1.
    Norling , Pia
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Kautsky, Hans
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    The role of the blue mussel (Mytilus sp.) as a habitat-forming species on subtidal hard and soft substrates in the Baltic SeaManuscript (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The role of habitat-modifying species may differ between different environmental settings. Therefore, we compared the effects of aggregating suspension-feeding blue mussels Mytilus sp. on associated species on subtidal hard and soft substrates. We used random quantitative samples collected from hard and soft substrates to assess species richness, composition and community structure of the Mytilus-red algal habitat in the northern Baltic proper. On soft substrate, we found a positive relationship between the biomass of Mytilus sp. and the red alga Furcellaria lumbricalis, while Phyllophora spp. was associated to Mytilus on both substrate types. On soft substrate, Mytilus sp. facilitated F. lumbricalis and other algal species by providing secondary substrate for attachment, e.g. shell and entangling byssus treads. This close Mytilus-red algal association had the same species richness on both hard and soft substrates. However, community structure differed between substrate types, especially when comparing the animal community. Multivariate analyses showed that on hard substrate, F. lumbricalis determined community structure, both individually and even more so in combination with Mytilus sp. In contrast, on soft substrate, Mytilus sp. was found to structure the plant, but not animal, community. Species interactions were found to differ between substrate types. A positive relationship was found between Mytilus sp. and Macoma balthica on hard substrate, while not on soft substrate. In general, the facilitating effects of Mytilus sp. on associated species were stronger on soft compared to hard substrates.

  • 2.
    Norling, Pia
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Importance of blue mussels for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in subtidal habitats2009Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Blue mussels, Mytilus spp., occur on rocky and sedimentary shores worldwide where they often form dense aggregates. These assemblages change the local environment and create unique habitats. By extensive filter-feeding, the mussels regulate availability and flow of resources such as nutrients and organic material, and are thereby important in benthic-pelagic coupling. This thesis investigates the role of Mytilus spp. for the diversity of associated species, ecosystem functioning and services that the mussels provides. My results show that Mytilus habitats support highly diverse associated communities, especially in subtidal sediment habitats in the Skagerrak and Baltic Sea. The macrofauna species richness was shown to correlate with mussel patch size and biomass. Structural properties of Mytilus spp. provide substrate for attachment, shelter and increase habitat complexity in the system, which was found to enhance species diversity. Biological activities of the mussels, e.g. filter-feeding, biodeposition and nutrient regeneration, seemed to determine the abundance, biomass and functioning of the associated plant and animal communities. The communities are dependent on import of energy resources through the mussels filter-feeding from the pelagic system, which increase contents of organic carbon and nitrogen in sediments by biodeposition even in very small patches. At larger scale, the role of Mytilus spp. as a habitat-modifying species varied between substrate types. On soft substrate, where physical structure is scarce, Mytilus spp. had strong positive effects on the associated algal community, while on hard substrate much less influence was found. In Flensborg fjord, when coexisting with eelgrass, Zostera marina, presence of Mytilus edulis influenced the grain size and biogeochemistry of the sediment, which in turn, seemed to induce sulphide stress in the plants and change plant performance. Due to its biomass dominance and substantial water-filtering capacity, Mytilus sp. tends to counteract eutrophication and maintain water quality maintenance services in the Baltic Sea. The mussels' filtration of plankton and particulate organic material from the pelagic system improves the light climate for benthic algae and increase production of other benthic organisms. This promotes a shift from a turbid plankton dominated system to a highly diverse and productive benthic system. I conclude that Mytilus spp. is important for sustaining biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of subtidal habitats, especially in the Baltic coastal zone.

  • 3.
    Norling, Pia
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Kautsky, Nils
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Patches of the mussel Mytilus sp. are islands of high biodiversity in subtidal sediment habitats in the Baltic Sea2008In: Aquatic Biology, ISSN 1864-7782 , Vol. 4, p. 75-87Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Norling, Pia
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Kautsky, Nils
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Structural and functional effects of Mytilus edulis on diversity of associated species and ecosystem functioning2007In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, ISSN 0171-8630, E-ISSN 1616-1599, Vol. 351, p. 163-175Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Norling, Pia
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Kautsky, Nils
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Eklöf, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Rönnbäck, Patrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Troell, Max
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    The role of the blue mussel (Mytilus sp.) for ecosystem functioning, generation of ecosystem services and ecological resilience in the Baltic SeaManuscript (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Norling, Pia
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Vinther, Hanne Fogh
    Kristensen, Per Sand
    Dolmer, Per
    Holmer, Marianne
    Blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) affect sediment biogeochemistry in eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds and may increase sulphide stress in plantsManuscript (Other academic)
1 - 6 of 6
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