On the endemic Fucus radicans in the Baltic Sea
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
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.
seaweed, sexual reproduction, clonality, fragmentation, dimorphism, salinity, distribution
Research subject Plant Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-117584ISBN: 978-91-7649-196-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-117584DiVA: diva2:813951
2015-09-18, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)
Sjøtun, Inga Kjersti, Førsteamanuensis
Kautsky, Lena, Professor
FunderSwedish Research Council Formas
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.2015-06-112015-05-252015-06-24Bibliographically approved
List of papers