They can form extensive populations They provide food and shelter for animals and substratum for epiphytic algae We know they are affected by temperature and various forms of pollution
But what about germlings? HD Nielsen et al., 2003 They may very well be more susceptible to environmental stressors than adult algae
Questions How will climate change interact with anthropogenic pollution to affect Fucus? Is the effect on germlings more pronounced?
Experimental setup Four temperatures: 6, 12, 17 and 22 °C Copper as a model pollutant –0, 100 and 1000 nM total copper, corresponding to 0, 42 and 422 nM free Cu 2+ –Baltic straits open water and polluted harbor waters respectively A 4x3 setup for with germlings as well as Fucus fronds
Conclusions: Adult Fucus: –Only the growth is affected and only by temperature –Photosynthetic parameters not affected, so effect on growth must be due to loss processes and/or effect on cell division
Conclusions: Fucus germlings: –Effect on survival, growth and photosynthetic parameters –Effect of both temperature and metal –Survival decreases with increasing temperature, synergistic effect of metal –Temperature has positive effect on growth and photosynthesis, counteracted by metal
Conclusions: Need to include early life stages in assessments of effects of climate change and pollution on fucoid algae Only including adult algae can lead to overloking effects important for population maintainance and survival