Most of the time our surveys of vegetation in the Bothnian Bay are planned, forseeable and follow a systematic routine. But some things you can only stumble upon, such as finding the sheated pondweed (Stuckenia vaginata).
It was during the boat transportation to our intended study site that we earlier this week stumbled upon this magnificent plant. On the surface it may not look too impressive, a green, half meter long plant with many thin leaves floating. But when you consider the depth at which you’re at you’ll understand that these plants are the giants of the northern Bothnian Bay. In our case the depth showed 2,2 meters, which means the sheated pondweeds had a hight of nearly three meters!
They can be found in freshwater lakes and brackish water, in the northern regions of Siberia, North America, Asia and here in the Bothnian Bay. In Sweden it is listed as “near threatened” on the red list of endangered species. Findings of them are not too common, which may also be due to them being easily overlooked.
Written by Linnea Bergdahl, County Administrative Board of Norrbotten.