“Cinema Seaweed”

Here in Sweden, the frost is making everything sparkling white, and our noses and cheeks red. So what could make us warmer than some Cinema Seaweed? During summer and autumn, several seaweed movies have appeared on YouTube. This is a trend that we hope will last.

Here are links to nice seaweed movies that we have come across.

Nyköpings municipality, just south of Stockholm, has really got the hang of how to show itself from its best side!
Here you can see the two localities Långskär and West Kovik. The gurgling sound you hear is when the snorkel is filled with water.

From Skälderviken down south in Skåne county we can see that both bladderwrack and serrated wrack have recovered. It is also shown that 2013 was an incredibly successful year for the brown algae Dead Man’s Rope (Chorda filum) along most of the Swedish coast.
The movie is by Virtuerack. Virtue is a resource for schools, created by the Faculty of Science at Gothenburg University and The Maritime Museum & Aquarium in Gothenburg. They also have more movies where they show how cd-discs are being placed under a jetty in the sea and become habitat for several algae and animals.

Do you have any nice seaweed movies? Please let us know.

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Chrismas is here!

The Christmas decorations at the Nordiska Kompaniet department store in Stockholm was unveiled last weekend.
Several enthusiastic followers of the BalticSeaWeed blog have contacted us to let us know that this year, the bladderwrack takes part in the Christmas celebrations.
There are also some lovely fish, a blue mussel with a small parcel, dancing starfish and a sea urchin snowman.

No Christmas without seaweed.
Wonderful, says we from the BalticSeaWeed blog!

Who needs a tree when there is seaweed?

Who needs a tree when there is seaweed?

Barnacles, bryozoans, seaweed and patterns

There are still some things to blog from earlier this fall. In August there was a seminar in the ”Sustainable Sea” -series, a co-operation between Briggen Tre Kronor and Stockholm University. The exhibit “The Baltic Sea- who cares ?” was also shown. There was displayed pictures from Hanna Henriksson’s exam project at Beckmans Design School, where she used wonderful patterns from the Baltic Sea, with barnacles, bryozoans and bladderwrack. Who would have thought that bryozoan colonies can be as lovely as the finest lace!

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Thus inspired, Lena made a kaftan that she wore on the 27th September when she was awarded a gold medal by the University, as we have previously mentioned .

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“It felt wonderful and very appropriate to walk up the stairs in City Hall and receive this honorary award from the Vice-Chancellor, wearing a dress with a pattern from a photographed settling-plate.” Lena said.
This particular plate was hanging at the Askö laboratory, and used for research on the settling time of barnacle larvae on boat hulls, some years ago. The results from this project and what each of us can do instead of painting our boats with toxic paint can be found at The Archipelago Foundation.

If you want to monitor when the barnacles of 2014 arrive at your own jetty or pier? Get a settling plate and hang it from the jetty. From The Archipelago Foundation, you can also find out what you can do once you see that they have settled and reached about 1 cm in size.
If they are on a small boat, you can just brush them off, or take your boat to a boat-cleaning station. You can also take your boat up a river or ia nearby freshwater area. This will kill the barnacles, who will eventually fall off.

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Autumn preparations at Askö Laboratory

Last Monday it was time to put the seaweed out in the sea for overwintering. After some different trials of overwintering indoors in the Experiment Hall at the Askö Laboratory, with extra lights and air pumps, we have found that it is still difficult to get good enough water circulation and movement for the seaweed to be happy. It becomes brittle and falls apart come spring. But tying plants on to net cages and placing them on the sea floor at some meters depth works just fine!
The weather was amazing. Calm and brilliant sun. But the water level was too high, so now they are places too shallow to remain in the bay all winter. We will have to come back later and move them to a deeper waters. That will be a dry suit -job.

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In this year’s seaweed plantation is material from Gotland that we have collected in order to try and solve the question of if there is a third ecotype of bladderwrack. We know from before that in the Baltic Sea we find both summer reproducing (end of May-June) and autumn reproducing (end July-October) bladderwrack. But now it seems that we have found a third type, that reproduces more or less constantly throughout the entire season (May-October).

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The Sea Environment Seminar of 2013, was held at Vår Gård located in Saltsjöbaden outside Stockholm. In the morning Lena went for a walk alongthe beach and found plenty of free-floating bladderwrack balls, both in the wrack wall on the beach and also floating in the shallow water, rolling around.

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According to litterature, these do not reproduce sexually, and we have never seen any reproductive tips on this form of bladderwrack. Naturally, she collected several wrackballs. Since Lena had forgotten to bring a plastic bag (wich is something a true marine biologist always should keep on her/him), she had to go back to the hotel reception and ask for one. Imagine their surprised looks. The day after, Lena went out to ASkö and tied the wrackballs to little ceramic tiles. What we are looking for is if these freee floating forms will become sexual in spring if they have a fixed up and down. Now they are placed in the sea for the winter, and all we can do is wait for the return of sunlight and warmth in spring, when we can dive down and check if there are any reproductive tips on them.

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