Herbivory, phenotypic variation, and reproductive barriers in fucoids
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
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.
Non-indigenous species, Enemy Release Hypothesis, Asexual reproduction, Phlorotannins, Distribution
Research subject Plant Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79481ISBN: 978-91-7447-538-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-79481DiVA: diva2:549818
2012-10-11, föreläsningssalen, Botaniska institutionen, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Fredriksen, Stein, Professor
Kautsky, Lena, ProfessorEriksson, Ove, Professor
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Accepted.2012-09-192012-09-042012-09-06Bibliographically approved
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