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Macroalgae in the Baltic Sea: responses to low salinity and nutrient enrichment in Ceramium and Fucus
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The brackish Baltic Sea is a marginal environment for both marine and freshwater species. The rate of ecological differentiation is presumably high due to strong selection pressure from a gradient of decreasing salinity that has been present in its current state for only about 3 000 years. Even more recently, increased nutrient loading due to human activities has affected the growth rate of species, with potential effects on their competitive interactions and responses to other regulating factors. I have investigated the potential effects of low salinity and nutrient enrichment on the distributional ranges of two marine macroalgae with a wide distribution in the Baltic Sea, the red alga Ceramium tenuicorne (Kütz.) Wærn and the brown alga Fucus vesiculosus L.

A field study in the northern Baltic Sea indicated a strong relationship between the community structure of macroalgae and abiotic factors even on a small, local scale. The abiotic factors are potentially modulated by eutrophication, which may have a strong effect on the depth distribution and abundance of macroalgae. On a regional scale, laboratory experiments suggested that nutrient enrichment is unlikely to affect the distribution of Ceramium and Fucus along the salinity gradient. Growth in Ceramium from the Baltic Proper was enhanced by nitrate and phosphate, but the response did not override growth constraints due to low salinity. Ceramium from the Gulf of Bothnia had an inherently lower growth rate that was not positively affected by nitrate and phosphate increase. In Fucus vesiculosus, reproductive performance was impaired by nitrate and phosphate levels corresponding to ambient levels in eutrophicated areas of the Baltic Sea, when measured by their effect on zygote attachment, germination, and rhizoid development.

The wide distribution of Ceramium in the inner Baltic Sea is probably related to local adaptation, rather than a generalized tolerance of different salinity levels. Ecotypic differences were observed when comparing strains from the Baltic Proper (salinity 7 psu) and the Gulf of Bothnia (4 psu). A high rate of vegetative reproduction was evident, although sexual reproduction was occasionally observed in salinity 4. In Fucus vesiculosus, genetic and morphological analyses of sympatric and allopatric populations of the common, vesicular, morphotype and a dwarf morphotype, characteristic for the Gulf of Bothnia, showed that the dwarf morphotype represents a separate evolutionary lineage. Also, vegetative reproduction was observed in Fucus for the first time, as supported by genetic and experimental data.

The results show that the biota of the inner Baltic Sea may have unique adaptive and genetic properties, and that it is highly relevant to consider subspecies diversity in Baltic Sea management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Ekologi och geovetenskap , 2005. , 40 p.
Keyword [en]
Ecology, adaptation, asexual reproduction, Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, salinity, macroalgae, nutrients, sexual reproduction, stress
Keyword [sv]
Ekologi
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Ecological Botany
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-441ISBN: 91-7305-816-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-441DiVA: diva2:143463
Public defence
2005-02-25, Lilla hörsalen, KBC, Umeå, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2005-02-03 Created: 2005-02-03Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Local distribution patterns of macroalgae in relation to environmental variables in the northern Baltic Proper
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Local distribution patterns of macroalgae in relation to environmental variables in the northern Baltic Proper
2005 (English)In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, ISSN 0272-7714, E-ISSN 1096-0015, Vol. 62, no 1-2, 109-117 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The relationship between macroalgal assemblages and abiotic factors was quantified by gradient analyses in an area where long-term changes in macroalgal depth distributions have previously been documented. Biomass data from 4, 6, 8 and 10 m depth in an area of similar salinity (5) and substrate (rock) in the northern Baltic Proper was constrained by a set of environmental variables defining different aspects of abiotic control of species distributions (sediment cover, effective fetch, clarity index, the curvature and slope of the bottom, and direction of exposure) in multivariate analyses at different scales. Fucus vesiculosus dominated the biomass at 4, 6 and 8 m depth, andFurcellaria lumbricalis at 10 m. The applied models explained 30.7–53.3% of the total variance in community structure, and 49.3–60.9% when analysed separately for each depth. A separate analysis of species depth distributions demonstrated that effective fetch was most strongly related to upper limits of the algal belts, sediment cover to the lower limit and density of the F. vesiculosusbelt, and clarity index to the lower limits of F. vesiculosus, perennial red algae, and of the red algal and Sphacelaria spp. belts. The results show a strong correlation between environmental variables and vegetation structure even on a small, local scale in the northern Baltic Proper, indicating a high suitability of the phytobenthic zone for environmental monitoring. The results add to previous studies that show a strong importance of abiotic factors on large-scale variation in phytobentic community composition in the Baltic Sea.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Academic Press, 2005
Keyword
sublittoral macroalgae, depth distribution, community composition, canonical correspondence analysis, redundancy analysis, monitoring
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4382 (URN)
Available from: 2005-02-03 Created: 2005-02-03 Last updated: 2011-04-28Bibliographically approved
2. Reproductive strategies of Ceramium tenuicorne near its inner limit in the brackish Baltic Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reproductive strategies of Ceramium tenuicorne near its inner limit in the brackish Baltic Sea
2003 In: Botanica Marina, Vol. 46, 125-131 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4383 (URN)
Available from: 2005-02-03 Created: 2005-02-03Bibliographically approved
3. Local adaptation in Ceramium tenuicorne (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta) within the Baltic Sea salinity gradient
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Local adaptation in Ceramium tenuicorne (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta) within the Baltic Sea salinity gradient
Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4384 (URN)
Available from: 2005-02-03 Created: 2005-02-03 Last updated: 2010-01-13Bibliographically approved
4. Negative direct effects of nutrient enrichment on the establishment of Fucus vesiculosus in the Baltic Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Negative direct effects of nutrient enrichment on the establishment of Fucus vesiculosus in the Baltic Sea
2003 In: European Journal of Phycology, Vol. 38, 41-46 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4385 (URN)
Available from: 2005-02-03 Created: 2005-02-03Bibliographically approved
5. Morphological and genetic differentiation of Fucus vesiculosus in the brackish Baltic Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Morphological and genetic differentiation of Fucus vesiculosus in the brackish Baltic Sea
Show others...
(English)In: Journal of Phycology, ISSN 0022-3646, E-ISSN 1529-8817Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4386 (URN)
Available from: 2005-02-03 Created: 2005-02-03 Last updated: 2017-10-19
6. Intriguing asexual life in marginal populations of the brown seaweed Fucus vesiculosus
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intriguing asexual life in marginal populations of the brown seaweed Fucus vesiculosus
Show others...
2005 (English)In: Molecular Ecology, ISSN 0962-1083, E-ISSN 1365-294X, Vol. 14, no 2, 647-651 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Reproduction of attached large brown algae is known to occur only by sexual zygotes. Using microsatellites we show evolution of asexual reproduction in the bladder wrack promoting population persistence in the brackish water Baltic Sea (< 6 psu). Here a dwarf morph ofFucus vesiculosus is dominated by a single clone but clonal reproduction is also present in the common form of the species. We describe a possible mechanism for vegetative reproduction of attached algae, and conclude that clonality plays an important role in persistence and dispersal of these marginal populations, in which sexual reproduction is impaired by low salinity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leicester: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 2005
Keyword
Cluster Analysis, Evolution, Fucus/genetics/*physiology, Gene Frequency, Genetics; Population, Microsatellite Repeats/genetics, North Sea, Population Dynamics, Reproduction; Asexual/*physiology, Seawater/analysis. adventitious branches, Baltic Sea, brackish water, brown macroalgae, clonal reproduction, Fucus vesiculosus, geographical parthenogenesis, marginal habitat
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4387 (URN)10.1111/j.1365-294X.2005.02425.x (DOI)15660953 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2005-02-03 Created: 2005-02-03 Last updated: 2011-03-15Bibliographically approved

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