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The diverse nature of Taalintehdas

Species-rich underwater reefs

Nature is diverse and sensitive even under water. Colourful and species-rich reefs can be found on rocky seabed in Taalintehdas. The reefs consist of green algae, bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) and red algae in smoothly mixed depth zones. You can also meet dense communities of blue mussel (Mytilus trossulus) on rocky seabed. Both blue mussels and bladderwrack are key species in the Baltic Sea: they are particularly important because they provide habitats and food for many other species.

Blue mussel communities

Blue mussels filter and purify water by eating plankton and are an important food source for many other species. For example, the common eider (Somateria mollissima) almost exclusively eats blue mussels, diving for them at the bottom of the sea. Blue mussels are also an important food for the European flounder (Platichthys flesus).

Bladderwrack beds

From invertebrates to various fish, bladderwrack beds are teeming with life. Although bladderwrack beds are still a fairly common and abundant habitat, their number has decreased rapidly, and they have become an endangered habitat.

Red algae beds

Eutrophication has also reduced the living space of endangered red algae beds, as clouding of the water has reduced the amount of light in the seabed. Red algae communities are often diverse, consisting of many different species of red algae. Common species include Furcellaria lumbricalis and Ceramium tenuicorne

Increasing biodiversity with new habitats

With the help of the Helmi habitats programme, a new habitat, the Biodiversity Park, has been established on a former commercial plot to create living space for rare plants and insects living on them. The area is protected under Section 77 of the Nature Conservation Act because two moth species requiring special protection, Ethmia terminella and Euzophera cinerosella, live in the park.

On the shore in Taalintehdas, the municipality has established a new habitat to create living space for natural meadow plants and insects living on them.

Endangered insects on viper’s bugloss

Viper’s bugloss (Echium vulgare) came to Taalintehdas, Finland as a ballast species and ornamental plant in the mid-19th century, probably in iron ore ships from Stockholm. In Taalintehdas, viper’s bugloss with its blue-red flowers is common in dry places, such as roadsides, but the species is rare elsewhere in Finland.

Ethmia terminella is a critically endangered nocturnal moth that lives on viper’s bugloss. Other rare moths living on viper’s bugloss include Ethmia bipunctella, the bugloss spear wing (Tinagma ocnerostomellum) and Cynaeda dentalis.

Helmi programme

The Helmi habitat programme is a joint programme of the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, implemented jointly by the administrative sectors of the ministries, municipalities and organisations. The programme aims to strengthen Finland’s biodiversity and is a key tool for halting biodiversity loss. The Helmi programme aims to tackle the main direct cause of biodiversity loss in Finnish nature: decrease in habitats and deterioration of their quality. The programme’s actions will provide help to hundreds of endangered species and most of the endangered habitats in our country.

Velmu programme

Velmu collects data on the occurrence of underwater marine biotopes, species and communities in Finland’s marine waters. The programme contributes to the Baltic marine protection and to the sustainable use of the sea and its natural resources. We cannot protect what we do not know.