Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 243–250 | Cite as

The seaweed flora of a young semi-enclosed sea: The Baltic. Salinity as a possible agent of flora divergence

  • G. Russell


The salinity tolerances of Baltic and Atlantic populations ofFucus vesiculosus andChorda filum have been measured using net photosynthesis as an index of tissue damage. AtlanticFucus proved to have a broader salinity tolerance than AtlanticChorda, a result which is consistent with others published on the tolerances of intertidal and sublittoral marine species. The optimum salinity for all Atlantic plants was 11 or 34‰, but that of all Baltic plants was 6‰. BalticFucus andChorda were different in breadth of tolerance, in spite of the fact that they inhabit the same sublittoral habitat. This difference is interpreted in relation to their respective life-forms,Fucus being perennial andChorda annual.Fucus is therefore present as a macrothallus at all times of year, including the critical low-salinity period of the spring ice-melt.Chorda evades damage by existing as a resistent microthallus at this time. It is concluded that the distinctive character of Baltic marine algae deserves nomenclatural recognition at some level below that of the species. The rank of subspecies would appear the most appropriate of those listed in the Code, but none of those available is able adequately to express the patterns of variation now being reported.


Waste Water Photosynthesis Water Pollution Salinity Tolerance Marine Alga 
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Copyright information

© Biologische Anstalt Helgoland 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Russell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyThe UniversityLiverpoolEngland

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