BIOTIC Species Information for Fucus vesiculosus
Researched byNicola White Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Stefan Kraan
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandAll coasts of Britain and Ireland.
Global distributionSee additional information.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth rangeNot relevant
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional InformationThe morphology of the plant varies in response to the environmental conditions leading to distinct varieties. Also, the fact that it can hybridize freely with other fucoids leads to the formation of distinct varieties (S. Kraan, pers. comm.). This species can survive in exposed locations, even though it is not a preferred habitat, but survive as a dwarf form (S. Kraan, pers. comm.). Plants from exposed locations usually have no airbladders and are known as Fucus vesiculosus forma linearis. The loss of airbladders is thought to be because they increase a plants drag, making them more vulnerable to being washed off by waves. Depth is not relevant as the plant is intertidal although it does occur at shallow depths in the Baltic.

Global distribution
Fucus vesiculosus is found in the Baltic Sea, Faroes, Norway (including Spitsbergen), Sweden, Britain, Ireland, the Atlantic coast of France, Spain and Morocco, Madeira, the Azores, Portugal, the North Sea coast of Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium and the eastern shores of United States and Canada.

Substratum preferencesBedrock
Large to very large boulders
Small boulders
Gravel / shingle
Artificial (e.g. metal/wood/concrete)
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Strait / sound
Ria / Voe
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Biological zoneUpper Eulittoral
Mid Eulittoral
Wave exposureModerately Exposed
Very Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowStrong (3-6 kn)
Moderately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
Very Weak (negligible)
SalinityReduced (18-30 psu)
Full (30-40 psu)
Variable (18-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Hardy & Guiry, 2003, Guiry & Nic Dhonncha, 2002,
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