Vegetation

Vegetation not only spreads on land. Under the water surface, you can find everything from tiny algae to higher vascular plants. Depending on the kind of seabed or lake bottom and the saltiness of the water, the vegetation looks quite different. On soft mud bottoms in sheltered bays, charales and various pondweed species thrive. Perfoliate and fennel pondweed are the most common species in the pondeweed family.

Image 1: Fennel pondweed (Stuckenia pectinata) on soft bottom

Image 2: Charales (Chara aspera)

The green Chara aspera, the red Chara tomentosa and the smaller bird’s nest stonewort all belong to the group of stoneworts. Chara aspera often spread out like green carpets on softer floors. Chara tomentosa can grow in large thick tuft-like carpets, down to 5 meters in depth. Charales are sensitive to eutrophication, and they are the first species to disappear if the water quality gets too poor. Stonewort is a so-called indicator of our aquatic environment. Cladophora glomerata, the most common green algae in Kvarken, can also give an idea of how good the water quality is. In polluted water, the green algae is slimy and brown-dark green in colour, while in clean water it is lighter green and felt-like. In the southern areas of Kvarken, where the salinity is higher, a belt of narrow wrack (Fucus radicans) spread out on the harder rock bottoms in the outer archipelago.

Image 3: Chara tomentosa

Image 4: Green algae (Cladophora glomerata)

Image 5: Narrow wrack (Fucus radicans)

Sources

Airaksinen O., Karttunen K. (red.), 1999. Natura 2000 handbok över de finska naturtyperna, Swedish translation (Åhman M. och Stenberg M.) from Finnish edition Natura 2000 – luontotyyppiopas, Suomen ympäristökeskus, Ympäristöopas 46, p. 194, 2001

Forststyrelsen. 2010. Skötsel- och användningsplan för Kvarkens yttre skärgård, förslag

Hannus J-J. 2010. Kartering av flador och glon i världsarvsområdet Kvarkens skärgård 2010. Sammanfattning/rapport, Metsähallitus, Vaasa

Hietikko-Hautala T. 2010. Jääkauden jälkinäytös – Merenkurkun saariston maailmanperintö. Waasa Graphics, Vaasa

Lampinen R., Lahti T., Heikkinen M. 2012. Växtatlas 2011. Helsingin yliopisto ja Luonnontieteellinen keskusmuseo, Helsinki. http://www.luomus.fi/vaxtatlas (18.10.2012)

Rassi P., Hyväringen E., Juslén A., Mannerkoski l. 2010. Suomen lajien uhanalaisuus – Punainen kirja 2010. Ympäristöministeeri ja Suomen ympäristökeskus, Helsinki.

Rinkineva L., Bader P. 1998. Kvarkens natur. Kvarkenrådets publikationer 10, Vaasa