Fast seaweed evolution in Baltic Sea


From the University of Gothenburg in Sweden:

Time record of marine species formation in the Baltic Sea

In 2005 researchers at the University of Gothenburg and Stockholm University discovered a new species of seaweed. The species, which was named Fucus radicans, evolved from a bladder wrack (Fucus vesiculosus) ancestor from the Baltic Sea. Detailed studies of Fucus radicans show that, from an evolutionary perspective, it was formed extremely rapidly: the species was formed less than 2,500 years ago, and probably as recently as about 400 years ago. This discovery is one of few examples of extremely rapid species formation. The results also show that new species can also be formed in the relatively young and species-poor Baltic Sea.

“We are now working on understanding how the species was formed. Fucus radicans is very common in the Baltic’s Gulf of Bothnia, and we want to understand its significance to the ecosystem,” said Ricardo Pereyra, a researcher at the University of Gothenburg’s Department of Marine Ecology.

The discovery is being published in an article in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/9/70/abstract

Stressed Baltic faces uncontrolled growth: here.

Ancient seaweed that have been found growing in the deep sea are “living fossils”, researchers have reported: here.

August 2011: The first ever survey of seaweed along England’s east coast began this month, thanks to The Wildlife Trusts: here.

6 thoughts on “Fast seaweed evolution in Baltic Sea

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