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Factors affecting formation of adventitious branches in the seaweeds Fucus vesiculosus and F. radicans

Journal article
Authors Alexandra Kinnby
Ricardo. T. Pereyra
Jonathan N. Havenhand
Pierre De Wit
Per R. Jonsson
Henrik Pavia
Kerstin Johannesson
Published in Bmc Ecology
Volume 19
ISSN 1472-6785
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of marine sciences
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12898-019-0239-...
Keywords Asexual reproduction, Baltic Sea, Macroalgae, North Sea, Salinity, Stress, Structural equation, genus fucus, phaeophyceae, regeneration, growth, roots, colonization, propagation, clonality, sargassum, success
Subject categories Marine ecology

Abstract

BackgroundIn the brackish Baltic Sea, shedding of adventitious branches is central to asexual recruitment of new thalli in the brown algae Fucus vesiculosus and F. radicans. To test which factors influence the formation of adventitious branches in brackish and in more marine conditions, we sampled 29 Fucus sites in the Baltic Sea (salinity 3-11) and 18 sites from the Danish straits, Kattegat, Skagerrak, and the North Sea (salinity 15-35). Separately for each area, we used structural equation modelling to determine which of eight predictor factors (phosphate, nitrate, chlorophyll-a (as a proxy for turbidity), temperature, salinity, oxygen, grazing pressure, and thallus area) best explained observed numbers of adventitious branches.ResultsIn more marine waters, high yearly average values of phosphate, salinity and turbidity had positive effects on the formation of adventitious branches. In brackish-waters, however, high numbers of adventitious branches were found in areas with low yearly average values of temperature, salinity and oxygen. Grazing intensity had no significant effect in either of the two study areas, contrasting findings from studies in other areas. In areas with both sexually and asexually reproducing Fucus individuals, clones had on average more adventitious branches than unique genotypes, although there was strong variation among clonal lineages.ConclusionThis study is the first to investigate multiple potential drivers of formation of adventitious branches in natural populations of Fucus. Our results suggest that several different factors synergistically and antagonistically affect the growth of adventitious branches in a complex way, and that the same factor (salinity) can have opposing effects in different areas.

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