Bladder wrack Fucus vesiculosus
Photo: Alexandra Kinnby

Effects of climate change on seaweeds

Research project

Short description

This project is based around future climate scenarios and how seaweeds, primarily bladder wrack, Fucus vesiculosus, will fair during environmental changes such as ocean acidification, freshening and warming. Fucus is a keystone species in the Baltic region and much of the Atlantic Ocean. Thus, developing an understanding of how Fucus will react to future climate scenarios can give us insight into how these changes will affect marine species and ecosystems in a broader context, and help us to predict whether species and ecosystems will survive or how they will adapt in a changing environment.

More about the research

Climate change affects marine systems through changes in temperature, pH, and salinity. Along the Swedish coast there is a steep, naturally occurring salinity gradient which we use to look at how different populations of seaweeds will adapt to future projected climate scenarios.

In addition we look at how the interaction between grazers and seaweeds are affected by climate change using the tools of chemical ecology, for example using physiological responses such as growth, photosynthesis, and changes to pigments or chemical defences to interpret the stress caused by changing conditions.