Diversity and spatial distribution of seaweeds in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica: an updated database for environmental monitoring under climate change scenarios

Diversity and spatial distribution of seaweeds in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica: an... The present study characterizes the spatial distribution of seaweed diversity on eight islands from the South Shetlands based on an updated taxonomic survey, discussing the higher number of species compared with previous studies and the possible relationships with environmental parameters. Seaweeds were sampled in Deception, Livingston, Halfmoon, Robert, Nelson, King George, Penguin, and Elephant Islands during the austral summer between 2010 and 2013 in intertidal and shallow subtidal zones. The taxonomic analyses evaluated morphological characteristics, reproductive structures, and molecular features. Physicochemical parameters of seawater were also monitored using standard analytical methods. A total of 104 species of benthic marine algae were identified (28 Phaeophyceae, 24 Chlorophyta, and 52 Rhodophyta), ~82% of all seaweeds taxa described to Antarctica, including six new records previously recorded only at lower latitudes, four confirmed taxa, and two putative new species. Spatial variation in species diversity was observed among the collecting sites, and Livingston and King George Islands showed the highest diversity among the islands. Deception, an area with geothermal activity and intense tourism, was dominated by opportunistic and broadly distributed filamentous green algae. Antarctic macroalgae diversity was higher than in previous studies, most likely due to more efficient techniques of sampling, and combined taxonomical methods. However, changes in the biogeographical distribution or introduction of some taxa, resulting from anthropogenic activities and/or climate changes, should be considered. Therefore, the higher number of taxa and the new records reported in this study suggest the need for long-term monitoring in the area for conservation purposes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Polar Biology Springer Journals

Diversity and spatial distribution of seaweeds in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica: an updated database for environmental monitoring under climate change scenarios

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Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Subject
Life Sciences; Ecology; Oceanography; Microbiology; Plant Sciences; Zoology
ISSN
0722-4060
eISSN
1432-2056
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00300-017-2092-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The present study characterizes the spatial distribution of seaweed diversity on eight islands from the South Shetlands based on an updated taxonomic survey, discussing the higher number of species compared with previous studies and the possible relationships with environmental parameters. Seaweeds were sampled in Deception, Livingston, Halfmoon, Robert, Nelson, King George, Penguin, and Elephant Islands during the austral summer between 2010 and 2013 in intertidal and shallow subtidal zones. The taxonomic analyses evaluated morphological characteristics, reproductive structures, and molecular features. Physicochemical parameters of seawater were also monitored using standard analytical methods. A total of 104 species of benthic marine algae were identified (28 Phaeophyceae, 24 Chlorophyta, and 52 Rhodophyta), ~82% of all seaweeds taxa described to Antarctica, including six new records previously recorded only at lower latitudes, four confirmed taxa, and two putative new species. Spatial variation in species diversity was observed among the collecting sites, and Livingston and King George Islands showed the highest diversity among the islands. Deception, an area with geothermal activity and intense tourism, was dominated by opportunistic and broadly distributed filamentous green algae. Antarctic macroalgae diversity was higher than in previous studies, most likely due to more efficient techniques of sampling, and combined taxonomical methods. However, changes in the biogeographical distribution or introduction of some taxa, resulting from anthropogenic activities and/or climate changes, should be considered. Therefore, the higher number of taxa and the new records reported in this study suggest the need for long-term monitoring in the area for conservation purposes.

Journal

Polar BiologySpringer Journals

Published: Mar 11, 2017

References

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