Marine algal flora of Flores and Corvo Islands, Azores

Latest version published by Universidade dos Açores on Nov 15, 2020 Universidade dos Açores

Background The algal flora of the western group of the Azores archipelago (Islands of Flores and Corvo) has attracted the interest of many researchers on numerous past occasions (such as Drouët 1866; Trelease 1897; Gain 1914; Schmidt 1929, 1931; Azevedo et al. 1990; Fralick & Hehre 1990; Neto & Azevedo 1990; Neto & Baldwin 1990; Neto 1996, 1997, 1999; Tittley & Neto, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2006; Azevedo 1998, 1999; Tittley et al. 1998; Dionísio et al. 2008; Neto et al. 2008). Despite this interest, the macroalgal flora of the Islands cannot be described as well-known with the published information reflecting limited collections preformed in short term visits by scientists. To overcome this, a thorough investigation, encompassing collections and presence data recording, has been undertaken for both the littoral and sublittoral regions, down to a depth of approximately 40 m, covering a relatively large area on both Islands (approximately 143 km2 for Flores and 17 km2 for Corvo). This paper lists the resultant taxonomic records and provides information on species ecology and occurrence around both these Islands, thereby improving the knowledge of the Azorean macroalgal flora at both local and regional scales.

New information For the Island of Flores, a total of 1687 specimens (including some taxa identified only to genus level) belonging to 196 taxa of macroalgae are registered, comprising 120 Rhodophyta, 35 Chlorophyta and 41 Ochrophyta (Phaeophyceae). Of these taxa, 128 were identified to species level (80 Rhodophyta, 22 Chlorophyta and 26 Ochrophyta), encompassing 37 new records for the Island (20 Rhodophyta, 6 Chlorophyta and 11 Ochrophyta); two Macaronesian endemics (Laurencia viridis Gil-Rodríguez & Haroun and Millerella tinerfensis (Seoane-Camba) S.M.Boo & J.M.Rico); six introduced (the Rhodophyta Asparagopsis armata Harvey, Neoizziella divaricata (C.K.Tseng) S.-M.Lin, S.-Y.Yang & Huisman, and Symphyocladia marchantioides (Harvey) Falkenberg; the Chlorophyta Codium fragile subsp. fragile (Suringar) Hariot; and the Ochrophyta Hydroclathrus tilesii (Endlicher) Santiañez & M.J.Wynne, and Papenfussiella kuromo (Yendo) Inagaki); and 14 species of uncertain status (10 Rhodophyta, 2 Chlorophyta and 2 Ochrophyta). For the Island of Corvo, a total of 390 specimens distributed in 56 taxa of macroalgae are registered, comprising 30 Rhodophyta, 9 Chlorophyta and 17 Ochrophyta (Phaeophyceae). Whilst a number of taxa were identified only to the genus level, 43 were identified to species level (22 Rhodophyta, 8 Chlorophyta and 13 Ochrophyta), comprising 22 new records for the Island (9 Rhodophyta, 4 Chlorophyta and 9 Ochrophyta), two introduced species (the Rhodophyta Asparagopsis armata and the Chlorophyta Codium fragile subsp. fragile, and seven species of uncertain status (5 Rhodophyta and 2 Ochrophyta).

Introduction The Azorean algal flora, considered cosmopolitan, with species shared with Macaronesia, North Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Europe and America (Tittley 2003, Tittley & Neto 2006, Wallenstein et al. 2009), is relatively rich when compared to that of other remote oceanic Islands (Neto et al. 2005, Tittley & Neto 2005, Wallenstein et al. 2009). Around 400 species of marine macroalgae have, to date, been recorded for the isolated mid-Atlantic Azores archipelago (Freitas et al. 2019). These authors, based on extensive analysis encompassing data on brachyurans, polychaetes, gastropods, echinoderms, coastal fishes and macroalgae, suggested that the Azores should be a biogeographical entity of its own and proposed a redefinition of the Lusitanian biogeographical province, in which they recognised four ecoregions: the South European Atlantic Shelf, the Saharan Upwelling, the Azores ecoregion, and a new ecoregion herein named Webbnesia, which comprises the archipelagos of Madeira, Selvagens and the Canary Islands. In their paper comparing the Azorean algal flora to that of the new Webbnesia region, they reported that the Canary Islands, with 689 species of marine macroalgae, are by far the most diverse archipelago, followed by the Azores (405), Madeira (396) and Cabo Verde (333). The Selvagens are the least diverse one (295 species). It is worth mentioning that the published information reflects data from only a few of the nine Azorean Islands, since not all of them have been adequately investigated. In the Azores archipelago, São Miguel is by far the Island with the largest amount of research dedicated to the study of its algal flora. The total number of algal species is, at the moment, 260, a number that is likely to increase due to ongoing research by authors of the present paper. Most of the remaining Islands have received less attention. To overcome this, and improve the understanding of the archipelago’s macroalgal flora, research has been conducted over the past three decades on all the Islands. Data on the Islands of Pico, Graciosa and Terceira is already available on the recently published papers by Neto et al. (2020b, c, d). To provide a better understanding of the archipelago’s seaweed flora, a long term research programme of study has been undertaken, mainly by local investigators into the marine macroalgae flora on several of the less studied Azorean Islands. The present paper presents both physical and occurrence data, and information gathered from surveys undertaken on Flores and Corvo Islands mainly by the Island Aquatic Research Group of the Azorean Biodiversity Centre of the University of the Azores (Link: https://ce3c.ciencias.ulisboa.pt/sub-team/island-aquatic-ecology) the BIOISLE, Biodiversity and Islands Research Group of CIBIO-Açores at the University of the Azores (Link: https://cibio.up.pt/research-groups-1/details/bioisle), and the OKEANOS Centre of the University of the Azores (Link: http://www.okeanos.uac.pt). In these surveys particular attention was given to the small filamentous and thin sheet-like species that are often short-lived and fast-growing, and usually very difficult to identify in the wild, without the aid of a microscope and specialised literature in the laboratory. The present paper aims to provide a valuable marine biological tool for research on systematics, diversity and conservation, biological monitoring, climate change and ecology for academics, students, government, private organizations and the general public.

Purpose: In this paper we present taxonomic records of macroalgae recorded from the Islands of Flores and Corvo and provide general information on their occurrence and distribution. By doing this, we are contributing to address several biodiversity shortfalls (see Cardoso et al. 2011, Hortal et al. 2015), namely the need to catalogue the Azorean macroalgae (Linnean shortfall) and improve the current information on their local and regional geographic distribution (Wallacean shortfall), as well as on species abundance and dynamics in space (Prestonian shortfall).

Data Records

The data in this sampling event resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 90 records. 1 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

  • Event (core)
    90
  • Occurrence 
    2077

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How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Neto A I, Parente M I, Tittley I, Fletcher R L, Farnham W F, Costa A C, Botelho A Z, Monteiro S, Resendes R, Afonso P, Prestes A C L, Álvaro N V, Milla-Figueras D, Neto R M A, Azevedo J M N, Moreu I (2020): Marine algal flora of Flores and Corvo Islands, Azores. v1.4. Universidade dos Açores. Dataset/Samplingevent. http://ipt.gbif.pt/ipt/resource?r=flores-corvo_seaweed_flora&v=1.4

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This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 6dc27fb5-1449-4482-bb50-21eacb17e570.  Universidade dos Açores publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by GBIF Portugal.

Keywords

Macroalgae; Azores; Flores Island; Corvo Island; new records; endemism; native; uncertain; introduced; occurrence data; Samplingevent

Contacts

Who created the resource:

Ana Isabel Neto
Associate professor with aggregation
Universidade dos Açores, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Departamento de Biologia and Grupo de Investigação Aquática Insular, IBBC-GBA/cE3c Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650567
http://ce3c.ciencias.ulisboa.pt/member/anaisabelneto
Manuela I. Parente
Researcher
CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, InBIO Laboratório Associado, Pólo dos Açores, Universidade dos Açores Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650000
https://cibio.up.pt/people/details/macardoso
Ian Tittley
Science Associate
Natural History Museum Cromwell Road SW7 5BD London GB 00 44 1227 365671
Robert Lawson Fletcher
Visiting Research Fellow in Marine Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth, Institute of Marine Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences Ferry Road, Eastney, Portsmouth, PO4 9LY, United Kingdom PO4 9LY Portsmouth, UK Hampshire, UK GB +(0)23 9284 8484
William Frank Farnham
Visiting lecturer
University of Portsmouth Ferry Road, Eastney, Portsmouth, PO4 9LY, United Kingdom PO4 9LY Portsmouth, UK Hampshire, UK +44 7707 553520
Ana Cristina Costa
Researcher
CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, InBIO Laboratório Associado, Pólo dos Açores, Universidade dos Açores Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650000
https://cibio.up.pt/people/details/arcosta
Andrea Z. Botelho
Researcher
CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, InBIO Laboratório Associado, Pólo dos Açores, Universidade dos Açores Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650000
https://cibio.up.pt/people/details/azbotelho
Sandra Monteiro
Research Technician
CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, InBIO Laboratório Associado, Pólo dos Açores, Universidade dos Açores Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650000
https://cibio.up.pt/people/details/smonteiro
Roberto Resendes
Curator at the AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha
Universidade dos Açores, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Departamento de Biologia Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650000, ext. 1731
Pedro Afonso
Senior Researcher
IMAR/Okeanos – University of the Azores Departamento de Oceanografia e Pescas, Universidade dos Açores, Rua Prof. Doutor Frederico Machado 9901-862 Horta Faial, Açores PT
http://www.okeanos.uac.pt/equipa
Afonso C. L. Prestes
Researcher
Universidade dos Açores, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Departamento de Biologia and Grupo de Investigação Aquática Insular, IBBC-GBA/cE3c Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650567
https://ce3c.ciencias.ulisboa.pt/member/afonsoprestes
Nuno Vaz Álvaro
Researcher
Universidade dos Açores, Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias, CCMMG (Centro do Clima Meteorologia e Mudanças Globais), IITA-A (Instituto de Investigação e Tecnologias Agrárias e do Ambiente) Campus de Angra do Heroísmo Rua Capitão João d’Ávlia – Pico da Urze 9700-042 Angra do Heroísmo Terceira, Açores PT +3295 402 200
http://cita.angra.uac.pt/clima/equipa/ver.php?id=245
David Milla-Figueras
Collaborator
IMAR/Okeanos – University of the Azores Departamento de Oceanografia e Pescas, Universidade dos Açores, Rua Prof. Doutor Frederico Machado 9901-862 Horta Faial, Açores PT +351910989920
Raul M. A. Neto
Collaborator
José M. N. Azevedo
Auxiliary professor and Researcher
Universidade dos Açores, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Departamento de Biologia and Grupo de Investigação Aquática Insular, IBBC-GBA/cE3c Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650113
https://ce3c.ciencias.ulisboa.pt/member/jose-manuel-viegas-de-oliveira-neto-azevedo
Ignacio Moreu
Researcher
Universidade dos Açores, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Departamento de Biologia and Grupo de Investigação Aquática Insular, IBBC-GBA/cE3c Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650567
https://ce3c.ciencias.ulisboa.pt/member/Ignacio_Moreu_Badia

Who can answer questions about the resource:

Ana Isabel Neto
Associate professor with aggregation
Universidade dos Açores, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Departamento de Biologia and Grupo de Investigação Aquática Insular, IBBC-GBA/cE3c Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650567
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Who filled in the metadata:

Ana Isabel Neto
Associate professor with aggregation
Universidade dos Açores, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Departamento de Biologia and Grupo de Investigação Aquática Insular, IBBC-GBA/cE3c Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650567
http://ce3c.ciencias.ulisboa.pt/member/anaisabelneto
Ignacio Moreu
Researcher
Universidade dos Açores, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Departamento de Biologia and Grupo de Investigação Aquática Insular, IBBC-GBA/cE3c Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650567
https://ce3c.ciencias.ulisboa.pt/member/Ignacio_Moreu_Badia
Manuela I. Parente
Researcher
CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, InBIO Laboratório Associado, Pólo dos Açores, Universidade dos Açores Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650000
https://cibio.up.pt/people/details/macardoso

Who else was associated with the resource:

Author
Ana Isabel Neto
Associate professor with aggregation
Universidade dos Açores, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Departamento de Biologia and Grupo de Investigação Aquática Insular, IBBC-GBA/cE3c Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650567
http://ce3c.ciencias.ulisboa.pt/member/anaisabelneto
Author
Ignacio Moreu
Researcher
Universidade dos Açores, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Departamento de Biologia and Grupo de Investigação Aquática Insular, IBBC-GBA/cE3c Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650567
https://ce3c.ciencias.ulisboa.pt/member/Ignacio_Moreu_Badia
Author
Manuela I. Parente
Researcher
CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, InBIO Laboratório Associado, Pólo dos Açores, Universidade dos Açores Rua da Mãe de Deus, 13-A 9500-321 Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Açores PT +351296650000
https://cibio.up.pt/people/details/macardoso

Geographic Coverage

Flores and Corvo Islands Coordinates: 39.73887436009367 and 39.35978526869001 Latitude; -31.28082275390625 and -31.036376953125 Longitude.

Bounding Coordinates South West [39.36, -31.281], North East [39.739, -31.036]

Taxonomic Coverage

All macroalgae were identified to genus or species level. For Flores a total of 196 taxa were identified belonging to 24 orders and 54 families, distributed in the phyla Rhodophyta (14 orders and 33 families), Chlorophyta (3 orders and 9 families), and Ochrophyta (7 orders and 12 families). For Corvo a total of 56 taxa were identified belonging to 16 orders and 29 families, distributed in the phyla Rhodophyta (7 orders and 16 families), Chlorophyta (3 orders and 4 families), and Ochrophyta (6 orders and 9 families).

Phylum  Rhodophyta (Red algae),  Chlorophyta (Green algae),  Ochrophyta (Brown algae)

Temporal Coverage

Living Time Period 1989 - 2018

Project Data

Aimed at improving the knowledge of the macroalgae flora of the eastern Islands of the Azores archipelago, extensive observations were made in the period between 1989 and 2018, encompassing both collections and presence data recordings, and covering the littoral and sublittoral levels down to approximately 40 m. This paper lists the taxonomic records and provides information on each species’ ecology and occurrence in the Islands’ littoral.

Title Marine algal flora of Flores and Corvo Islands, Azores
Identifier Flores & Corvo_macroalgal_flora
Funding This study was mainly financed by the following projects/scientific expeditions: • Projects: o IASTFC- “Impact Assessment Study for the construction of the Transport Infrastructures of the Islands of Flores and Corvo, Azores - natural environment”, funded by the Azores Regional Government - Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Environment / Regional Environment Directorate, 1990; o LFFC- “Littoral flora of the islands of Flores and Corvo: Inventory, ecology and biogeographic affinities”, Government of the Azores - Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Environment / Regional Environment Directorate (GRA-SRTA / DRA), 1995-1999; o Project Flores- Biosphere - “Application of Flores Island to a Biosphere Reserve”. Government of the Azores - Regional Secretariat for the Environment and the Sea (GRA-SRAM). 2007-2008; o Project MOST - “Application of a model of sustainable tourism to areas of Natura 2000 network in the Azores” (PTDC / AAC-AMB / 104714/2008). Foundation for Science and Technology and the Government of the Azores - Regional Secretariat for the Sea, Science and Technology, Regional Directorate for Sea Affairs (GRA / SRMCT-DRAM), 2010 - 2013; o Project PIMA – “Elaboration of the implementation program of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive - Marine Invasion Program in the Azores” (3 /DRAM /2015). Government of the Azores - Regional Secretariat for the Sea, Science and Technology, Regional Directorate for Sea Affairs (GRA / SRMCT-DRAM), 2015; o Project BALA – “Elaboration of the implementation program of the marine strategy framework directive - biodiversity of the coastal environments of the Azores” (2 /DRAM /2015). Government of the Azores - Regional Secretariat for the Sea, Science and Technology, Regional Directorate for Sea Affairs (GRA / SRMCT-DRAM), 2015; o Project “ACORES-01-0145-FEDER-000072 - AZORES BIOPORTAL – PORBIOTA. Operational Programme Azores 2020 (85% ERDF and 15% regional funds); • Scientific Expeditions and campaigns: o “FLORES/89”, organized by the Biology Department of the University of the Azores, Flores Island, Azores, July 1989; o “Earthwatch FLORES/95”, a joint organization of the Marine Biology Section of the Biology Department of the University of the Azores and the Natural History Museum (London), co-funded by the Earthwatch International and developed under the project LFFC, July – August 1995; o “FLORES & CORVO/99”, developed under the project LFFC, July 1999; o “FLORES & CORVO/2007”, XIII Scientific Expedition of the Biology Department of the University of the Azores, Islands of Flores and Corvo, July 2007; o “MOST”, under the project MOST, 2011-2013; o “PIMA/BALA”, under the projects PIMA and BALA, 2015; • Other funds: o Portuguese National Funds, through FCT –Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, within the projects UID/BIA/00329/2013, 2015- 2019, UID/BIA/00329/2020-2023 and UID/BIA/50027/2019 and POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006821; o ERDF funds through the Operational Programme for Competitiveness Factors – COMPETE; o Portuguese Regional Funds, through DRCT - Regional Directorate for Science and Technology, within several projects, 2019 and 2020 and SRMCT / DRAM - Regional Secretariat for the Sea, Science and Technology, Regional Directorate for Sea Affairs; o CIRN/DB/UAc (Research Centre for Natural Resources, Universidade dos Açores, Departamento de Biologia); o CIIMAR (Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, Porto, Portugal).
Study Area Description The Azores archipelago (38°43′49″N, 27°19′10″W), comprising nine Islands and several islets, is spread over 500 km, in a WNW direction. The Islands emerged from what is called the Azores Plateau, and are located above an active triple junction between three of the world's largest tectonic plates (the North American Plate, the Eurasian Plate and the African Plate, Hildenbrand et al. 2018). Flores and Corvo, the westernmost Islands of the archipelago, are located in the North American Plate, whereas the remaining Islands are located around the boundary that divides the Eurasian and African Plates (Hildenbrand et al. 2018). The Islands of Flores and Corvo are sub-aerial domains of a large volcanic formation, mostly submarine, implanted on an oceanic crust, and aged between 9.0 and 10.0 million years (Ma). Each of these Islands has unique geomorphological characteristics: Flores (39°31'27″N, -31°15'31"W), of approximately 141 km2, is composed of two units, the central massif located in the central plain, and the coastal periphery; Corvo, its neighbour (39°43'37"N, -31°7'44"W), of approximately 17 km2, is a crater of a major Plinian eruption and the smallest Island of the Azores archipelago (Azevedo 1999). The climate, as in the remaining Islands, is characterized by regular and abundant rainfall, high levels of relative humidity and persistent winds, mainly during the winter and autumn seasons (Morton et al. 1998). Fog is common and almost permanent at the higher elevations. Marine action is responsible for the predominance of erosive morphologies in the coastal areas of both Islands, examples of which on Flores (Neto et al. 2008) are: the valleys associated with fluvial erosion (Vales das Lajes and da Fazenda); the coastal or back cliffs (Fajãzinha - Ponta da Fajã); the large marine abrasion platforms (Fajãzinha - Fajã Grande); and the coastal platforms associated with landslides and collapses (Ponta da Fajã). Owing to the lack of a continental shelf that characterises most volcanic Islands, coastal extension is restricted, and deep waters occur within a few kilometres offshore. The tidal range is small (<2 m, Instituto Hidrográfico 1981) and coasts are subjected to swell and surge for most of the year. The Islands’ coastline, approximately 72.209 km long on Flores and 19.045 km long on Corvo, is predominantly rocky, subject to strong maritime erosion and presents an irregular slope with extensive and high cliffs cut by waterfalls and streams, alternating with a complex system of bays, rocky beaches and natural terraces (Azevedo 1999). Along the coastline, the bottom is mostly made up of irregular rocky bedrock, containing, in some places, pockets of sediment of coarse sand and gravel, alternating with places covered by blocks that rest on either the rocky bed or the sediment. Submerged or semi-submerged caves, arches and tunnels of small amplitude and reduced length are common. As depth increases, the slope decreases, although the bottom is still rocky and uneven. This feature is interrupted by valleys and other structures of smooth to rough relief. The sediment floor in the deepest areas is stable, generally composed of medium and /or coarse sand. From this floor arise small islets with normally vertical walls and low irregular crowns, marked by ridges and valleys (Neto et al. 2008). Along the coastline and islets natural sheltered habitats (arches and semi-submerged caves, tide pools) create favourable conditions for the growth of juveniles and adults of coastal fish. The constant recycling of nutrients caused by the wave exposed coasts of these Islands, provides suitable conditions for the occurrence of considerable diversity and abundance of macroinvertebrates and pelagic and benthic fish (Neto et al. 2008). At the foot of the cliffs the rocky intertidal zone is, as elsewhere in the Azores, dominated by algal communities that form mosaic and /or horizontal bands relative to tide level and are made up of multispecific algal turfs (growth forms of either diminutive algae or diminutive forms of larger species) that carpet the rocks. In the intertidal, a distinct zonation pattern is evident. The higher zone, dominated by invertebrates (littorinids and chthamalid barnacles), gives rise below to a mid-shore zone covered by algal turfs that create a dense, compact mat 20-30 mm in thickness). The turf can be monospecific (of either Caulacanthus ustulatus (Mertens ex Turner) Kützing, Centroceras clavulatum (C. Agardh) Montagne or Gymnogongrus), or multispecific and composed by soft algae (e.g. Centroceras clavulatum, Ceramium and Chondracanthus) usually growing as epiphytes over articulate calcareous forms (e.g. Elisolandia and Jania). The low-shore zone is mainly dominated by calcareous crusts (first/ basal strata), covered by corticated macrophytes e.g. Elisolandia elongata (J.Ellis & Solander) K.R.Hind & G.W.Saunders and Pterocladiella capillacea (S.G.Gmelin) Santelices & Hommersand, and in more exposed locations Tenarea tortuosa (Esper) Me Lemoine (Neto et al. 2008). Seasonally, and mainly in Spring and Summer, the introduced red alga Asparagopsis armata occurs often abundantly at this lower intertidal level. Important features and habitats at this shore level are rock pools, occurring in different shapes and sizes and often recreating a shallow subtidal habitat, which contains a rich diversity of marine life. A few shores consist of irregularly rounded boulders or cobbles between which coarse sand or gravel may be retained. Sandy shores are rare (Neto pers. observ.). The rocky bottoms in the submerged zone are covered by more frondose macrophytes such as Pterocladiella capillacea, Halopteris filicina (Grateloup) Kützing, Dictyota spp. or Zonaria tournefortii (J.V.Lamouroux) Montagne. At this level the edible barnacles Megabalanus azoricus (Pilsbry, 1916) and/or the limpets Patella aspera Röding, 1798 are concentrated in the first few meters, while the slipper lobsters Scyllarides latus (Latreille, 1803) or the spiny lobsters Palinurus elephas (Fabricius, 1787) are found at greater depths. Several species of fish, such as the blue wrasse Symphodus caeruleus (Azevedo, 1999) or the ornate wrasse Thalassoma pavo (Linnaeus, 1758) are particularly frequent in shallow rocky areas, whereas other fish take shelter in crevices during the day, such as the morays, Muraena helena Linnaeus, 1758, or the forkbeards Phycis phycis (Linnaeus, 1766). Still other species roam among rocky reefs, such as the parrotfish Sparisoma cretense (Linnaeus, 1758), the salemas Sarpa salpa (Linnaeus, 1758) and the white sea bream Diplodus sargus (Linnaeus, 1758). In the numerous sea caves around Flores and Corvo the dusky grouper Epinephelus marginatus (Lowe, 1834) occurs with an unknown frequency in most of the other Islands (Neto et al. 2008). In 2007, both Flores and Corvo Islands were recognised by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve, and thus integrated in the program “The Man and the Biosphere”. The program focuses on the ecological, social and economic dimensions of biodiversity loss, and uses the World Network of Biosphere Reserves as a vehicle for knowledge sharing, research and monitoring, education and training, and participatory decision-making with local communities. The proposed area for the Biosphere Reserve includes the entire emerged land area of the Islands and a surrounding marine zone, covering a total area of 58,619 hectares in Flores and 25,853 hectares in Corvo and incorporating an important diversity of habitats of regional, national and international importance, which includes, for example, areas integrated in the Natura 2000 Network. The inclusion of a vast marine area promotes explicitly, alongside with conservation, an integrated management practice between terrestrial, coastal and marine environments (Neto et al. 2008).
Design Description The algae referred to in this paper were collected during field surveys from both the littoral and sublittoral regions down to approximately 40 m on the Islands of Flores and Corvo. Each sampling location was visited several times. On each occasion a careful and extensive survey was undertaken to provide a good coverage of the area. Both presence recording and physical collections were made by walking over the shores or by SCUBA diving. The specimens collected were taken to the laboratory for identification and preservation and the resulting vouchers were deposited in the AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha and the Molecular Systematics Laboratory at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores.

The personnel involved in the project:

Content Provider
Ana Cristina Costa
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Inês Neto
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Sampling Methods

Intertidal collections were made during low tide by walking over the shores. Subtidal collections were made by SCUBA diving around the area. Sampling involved specimen collecting and species presence recording. For the former, at each location samples were obtained by scraping from the surface one or two specimens of all the observed species and then placing them into labelled bags. Species recording data was gathered by registering all species present in the sampled locations visited.

Study Extent This study covers a relatively large area, of approximately 143 km2 on Flores and 17 km2 on Corvo, covering littoral and sublittoral levels down to approximately 40 m around the Islands.
Quality Control Each sampled taxon was identified by trained taxonomists and involved morphological and anatomical observations of whole specimens by eye, and/or of histological preparations under microscopes to determine the main diagnostic features of each species as described in the literature.

Method step description:

  1. Specimens were sorted and studied in the laboratory following standard procedures used in macroalgae identification. Species identification was usually based on a combination of morphological, anatomical and reproductive features. For small and simple thalli, this required observing the entire thallus with the unaided eye and/or using dissecting and compound microscopes. For larger and more complex algae, investigation of the thallus anatomy required histological procedures (longitudinal and transverse sections) or squashed preparations of mucilaginous thalli, sometimes after staining, to observe vegetative and reproductive structures and other diagnostic features. The mixed nature of the Azorean algal flora with components from several geographical regions cause difficulties in species identification. Floras and keys for the North Atlantic, Tropical Atlantic and Western Mediterranean were used (e.g. Schmidt 1931, Taylor 1967, 1978, Levring 1974, Dixon & Irvine 1977, Lawson & John 1982, Irvine 1983, Gayral & Cosson 1986, Fletcher 1987, Afonso-Carrillo & Sansón 1989, Burrows 1991, Boudouresque et al. 1992, Cabioc'h et al. 1992, Maggs & Hommersand 1993, Irvine & Chamberlain 1994, Brodie et al. 2007, Lloréns et al. 2012 and Rodríguez-Prieto et al. 2013). For more critical and taxonomically difficult taxa, specimens were taken to the Natural History Museum (London) for comparison with collections there. A reference collection was made for all collected specimens by assigning them an herbarium code number and depositing them at the AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha and the Molecular Systematics Laboratory, University of Azores. Depending on the species and on planned further research, different types of collections were made, namely (i) liquid collections using 5% buffered formaldehyde seawater and then replacing it by the fixing agent Kew (Bridsen & Forman 1999); (ii) dried collections, either by pressing the algae (most species) as described by Gayral & Cosson (1986), or by letting them air dry (calcareous species); and (iii) silica gel collections for molecular studies. Nomenclatural and taxonomic status used here follow Algaebase (Guiry & Guiry, 2020). The database was organized on FileMaker Pro.

Collection Data

Collection Name AZB | Marine macroalgae collection of Flores and Corvo Islands (Azores)-Expedition Flores/89
Collection Identifier 33967202-6b10-4182-99d2-621d594572cc
Parent Collection Identifier AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores
Collection Name AZB | Marine macroalgae collection of Flores and Corvo Islands (Azores)-Expedition Earthwatch Flores/95
Collection Identifier cd4c8dd8-49f7-4318-9b3d-c78aaec53c2d
Parent Collection Identifier AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores
Collection Name AZB | Marine macroalgae collection of Flores and Corvo Islands (Azores)-Expedition Flores & Corvo/99
Collection Identifier 93772fb0-339a-4081-b742-a101ca66c019
Parent Collection Identifier AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores
Collection Name Marine macroalgae collection of Flores and Corvo Islands (Azores)-Expedition Flores & Corvo/2007
Collection Identifier a7ca4500-9608-44eb-9269-528a40264071
Parent Collection Identifier AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores
Collection Name AZB | Marine macroalgae collection of Flores and Corvo Islands (Azores)-Occasional sampling
Collection Identifier 1a7a0a41-5a5c-460c-815d-0c3503a5a2ea
Parent Collection Identifier AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores
Collection Name AZB | Marine macroalgae collection of Flores and Corvo Islands (Azores)-Occasional sampling
Collection Identifier cfc9d276-6d4e-4cc3-8f40-be9c3e5ba6e9
Parent Collection Identifier AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores
Collection Name Marine macroalgae occurrence of Flores and Corvo Islands (Azores)-Expedition Flores & Corvo/99
Collection Identifier 434097ea-bac3-49ac-9f5a-3aa9b6c10503
Parent Collection Identifier Not applicable
Collection Name Marine macroalgae occurrence of Flores and Corvo Islands (Azores)-Project MOST
Collection Identifier db4e55cc-1401-4b1c-9343-fc2a3e27e473
Parent Collection Identifier Not applicable
Collection Name Marine macroalgae occurrence of Flores and Corvo Islands (Azores)-Campaign PIMA/BALA
Collection Identifier 29ca7edc-3911-4c59-9722-c9aba69ca506
Parent Collection Identifier Not applicable
Collection Name Marine macroalgae occurrence of Flores and Corvo Islands (Azores)-Occasional sampling
Collection Identifier 153bd328-1e16-4e9e-8dc8-56994c25fb31
Parent Collection Identifier Not applicable
Specimen preservation methods Dried,  Dried and pressed,  Formalin,  Other

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Additional Metadata

Additional information on this study may also be requested to the first author.

Alternative Identifiers 6dc27fb5-1449-4482-bb50-21eacb17e570
http://ipt.gbif.pt/ipt/resource?r=flores-corvo_seaweed_flora