|Grazing and geographic range of the Baltic seaweed Fucus radicans (Phaeophyceae)|
|Forslund, H.; Eriksson, O.E.; Kautsky, L. (2012). Grazing and geographic range of the Baltic seaweed Fucus radicans (Phaeophyceae). Mar. Biol. Res. 8(4): 322-330. dx.doi.org/10.1080/17451000.2011.637565|
|In: Marine Biology Research. Taylor & Francis: Oslo. ISSN 1745-1000, more|
Distribution; Growth rate; Idotea balthica (Pallas, 1772) [WoRMS]; Phaeophyceae [WoRMS]; ANE, Baltic [gazetteer]; Marine
The range of the recently described seaweed Fucus radicans is limited to the Bothnian Sea and the northern Baltic Sea while the range of the sympatric Fucus vesiculosus extends outside the Baltic Sea. Here we present results from a survey of the distribution and relative abundance of F. radicans and F. vesiculosus and abundance of associated herbivores along the range of F. radicans in Sweden. Both Fucus species were equally common. Herbivores were found in significantly higher numbers on F. radicans. The range of the herbivore Idotea balthica overlaps the southern range of F. radicans and is known to decrease the abundance of fucoids through grazing. We therefore hypothesized that if I. balthica has a preference for F. radicans it could affect the range of F. radicans. To test the preference of I. balthica we performed a bioassay where it had a choice between F. radicans and F. vesiculosus. Another bioassay was performed with the most common herbivore in our survey, Gammarus spp. Both herbivores consumed significantly more F. radicans than F. vesiculosus. Our results indicate that grazing may be an important factor in limiting the southern range of F. radicans along the Swedish coast.