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Long-term changes in macroalgal vegetation on the Swedish coast: An evaluation of eutrophication effects with special emphasis on increased organic sedimentation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Plant Ecology.
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis I examine and evaluate the effects of a documented large-scale eutrophication on macroalgal vegetation on the Swedish coast. During the past century the load of nutrients has increased manifold in the Baltic Sea area, increasing primary production and organic sedimentation significantly. By re-investigating a unique reference material of macroalgal vegetation from the 1940-60s and by conducting new diving studies at the same sites, I showed that long-term trends in macroalgal community composition and species’ distributions are consistent with changes expected from an increased nutrient availability. In the Öregrund archipelago (northern Baltic Sea), I documented a declined depth distribution of the dominant canopy forming alga, Fucus vesiculosus, and an increased abundance of opportunistic ephemeral algae compared to 52-53 years ago. In the Gullmar Fjord area (Skagerrak), trends included increased abundances of functional groups with opportunistic algae, decreased abundances of large perennial algae and a general decline in the depth distribution of the vegetation compared to 36-57 years ago. Sediment removal experiments in the northern Baltic Sea confirmed the hypothesis that sedimentation influences macroalgal community composition. Species depending on short periods of reproduction were clearly favoured by sediment removal, especially F. vesiculosus that seemed limited in depth by the local sediment load. Species with long continuous periods of dispersal by spores and/or fragments (for example the ephemerals Cladophora glomerata, Ceramium tenuicorne and Enteromorpha spp.) were more tolerant to the natural sediment load. In general, sediment removal favoured macroalgal establishment and development, indicating that variation in the natural sediment load is an important constraint for sublittoral rocky-shore macroalgal community development. I conclude by suggesting that the documented long-term changes in macroalgal vegetation on the Swedish coast partly are explained by an increased organic sedimentation in these areas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2002. , p. 34
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1104-232X
Keywords [en]
Ecology, Baltic Sea, Eutrophication, Fragmentation, Fucus vesiculosus, Functional group, Gullmar Fjord, Macroalgae, Long-term changes, Reproduction, Sedimentation
Keywords [sv]
Ekologi
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Ecological Botany
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-2676ISBN: 91-554-5394-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-2676DiVA, id: diva2:162023
Public defence
2002-11-07, Villavägen 14, Uppsala, 10:00
Opponent
Available from: 2002-10-04 Created: 2002-10-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Long-term changes in the sublittoral zonation of brown algae in the southern Bothnian Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Long-term changes in the sublittoral zonation of brown algae in the southern Bothnian Sea
1998 In: European Journal of Phycology, Vol. 33, p. 241-249Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90010 (URN)
Available from: 2002-10-04 Created: 2002-10-04Bibliographically approved
2. Long-term changes of macroalgal vegetation in the Skagerrak area
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Long-term changes of macroalgal vegetation in the Skagerrak area
1998 In: Hydrobiologia, Vol. 385, p. 121-138Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90011 (URN)
Available from: 2002-10-04 Created: 2002-10-04Bibliographically approved
3. Long-term changes in the macroalgal vegetation of the inner Gullmar Fjord, Swedish Skagerrak coast
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Long-term changes in the macroalgal vegetation of the inner Gullmar Fjord, Swedish Skagerrak coast
2002 In: Journal of Phycology, Vol. 38, p. 284-296Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90012 (URN)
Available from: 2002-10-04 Created: 2002-10-04Bibliographically approved
4. Sedimentation reduces recruitment success of Fucus vesiculosus in the Baltic Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sedimentation reduces recruitment success of Fucus vesiculosus in the Baltic Sea
Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90013 (URN)
Available from: 2002-10-04 Created: 2002-10-04Bibliographically approved
5. Effects of sedimentation on macroalgae: species-specific responses are related to reproductive traits
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of sedimentation on macroalgae: species-specific responses are related to reproductive traits
Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90014 (URN)
Available from: 2002-10-04 Created: 2002-10-04Bibliographically approved

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