Sampling event

Marine algal (seaweed) flora of São Jorge Island, Azores

Latest version published by Universidade dos Açores on 18 November 2020 Universidade dos Açores
Publication date:
18 November 2020
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Universidade dos Açores
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This occurrence dataset lists the macroalgal taxonomic records compiled under occasional collections done at São Jorge Island (central group of the Azores archipelago) and provides information on each species’ ecology and occurrence on the island’s littoral. Collections were undertaken mainly by Island Aquatic Research Group of the Azorean Biodiversity Centre of the University of the Azores ( at the littoral and shallow sublittoral levels. A total of 84 specimens are registered (including taxa identified only at generic level) belonging to 49 taxa of macroalgae, comprising 34 Rhodophyta, 9 Chlorophyta and 6 Ochrophyta (Phaeophyceae). From these, 21 are new records for the island, three are introduced, and five have an uncertain status. Most species were only sporadically observed on the island’s littoral, but four were commonly found, namely: the Rhodophyta Carradoriella denudata (Dillwyn) A. M. Savoie & G. W. Saunders, Ellisolandia elongata (J. Ellis & Solander) K. R. Hind & G. W. Saunders, and Gelidium spinosum (S. G. Gmelin) P. C. Silva; and the Chlorophyta Ulva intestinalis Linnaeus. Although representing an incomplete list of the seaweeds occurring in the island of São Jorge, this occurrence dataset is a contribution to the knowledge of the marine alga flora of that island. For each taxon presented, it provides general information on its occurrence on the island’s littoral, and thus contributes to address several biodiversity shortfalls (see 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 abundances and dynamics in space (Prestonian shortfall). It aims to provide information for biological studies such as systematics, diversity and conservation, biological monitoring, climate change and ecology, and for academics, students, government, private organizations, and the general public.

Data Records

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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)

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This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 3c9e599a-0111-4be7-b48a-678fe0546790.  Universidade dos Açores publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by GBIF Portugal.


Macroalgae; seaweeds; Rhodophyta; Ochrophyta; Chlorophyta; Azores; São Jorge Island; native; introduced; uncertain; occurrence data.; Occurrence


Ana Isabel Neto
  • Metadata Provider
  • Author
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Associate professor with aggregation; Macroalgae Curator at the AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha
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
Afonso C. L. Prestes
  • Originator
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
Roberto Resendes
  • Originator
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
+351296650000, ext. 1731
Raul M. A. Neto
  • Originator
Bachelor in Biology
Rua Duque de Saldanha, 10-3Dt
2675-438 Odivelas
Ignacio Moreu
  • Metadata Provider
  • Author
  • Originator
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

Geographic Coverage

São Jorge Island, Azores, Macaronesia, Portugal (approximately 38°26′10″N 28°19′47″W).

Bounding Coordinates South West [38.53, -28.33], North East [38.767, -27.732]

Taxonomic Coverage

All macroalgae were identified to genus or species. In total, 84 taxa were identified belonging to 15 orders and 22 families, distributed by the phyla Rhodophyta (8 orders and 14 families), Chlorophyta (3 orders and 3 families), and Ochrophyta (4 orders and 5 families).

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

Temporal Coverage

Start Date 2007-01-01
Start Date 2008-01-01

Project Data

To contribute to improve the knowledge of São Jorge Island’s macroalgal flora, observations, encompassing both collections and presence data recordings, were made at the intertidal level around the island. This occurrence dataset lists the obtained taxonomic records and provides information on each taxon’s ecology and occurrence in the island’s littoral.

Title Marine algal (seaweed) flora of São Jorge Island, Azores
Identifier Seaweeds of São Jorge Island (Azores)
Funding This study was mainly financed by the following projects/scientific expeditions: • Campaign TAPES/2007 (July), under the project “TAPES - Estudo da viabilidade de produção da amêijoa Tapes decussatus (Linnaeus, 1758) em aquacultura intensiva” 2006 - 2009. The Azores Regional Government. • Campaign CAMAG-SJG/2008 (August), under the project “Caracterização das massas de água de transição da Ilha de São Jorge”. 2008 - 2009. The Azores Regional Government. • Portuguese National Funds, through FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, within the projects UID/BIA/00329/2019 and UID/BIA/00329/2020-2023; • Portuguese Regional Funds, through DRCT – Direção Regional da Ciência e Tecnologia, within several projects, since 2013 • CIRN/DB/UAc (Research Centre for Natural Resources, Universidade dos Açores, Departamento de Biologia) • CIIMAR (Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, Porto, Portugal).
Study Area Description São Jorge Island, located at the Central Group of the Azores archipelago (38°26′10″N, 28°19′47″W), 15 km north of Pico Island, is 54 km long and 6 km wide, with a total area of 244 km2. It is crossed longitudinally by mountains with a maximum altitude of 1053 m at Pico da Esperança, and its elongated and narrow profile makes this island unique in the archipelago (Madeira et al. 1998). The climate, as in the remaining Azorean Islands, is temperate oceanic, with regular and abundant rainfall, high levels of relative humidity and persistent winds, mainly during winter and autumn (Morton et al. 1998). The island lacks a continental shelf, the tidal range is small (<2 m, see Instituto Hidrográfico 1981) and coasts are subjected to swell and surge most of the year. With and extension of approximately 139 km, the island’s coastline consists mainly of irregular extensions of bedrock, with high and steep cliffs, mainly on the northern coast. This part of the island is permanently subject to strong and constant abrasion by the sea, which is responsible for shaping the typical fajãs that characterize the island's littoral. The southern coast has a much less pronounced slope. Sandy shores are absent (Madeira et al. 1998). The rocky-shore communities of São Jorge, like those found all over the archipelago are macroalgae dominated at both intertidal and shallow subtidal levels (Neto et al. 2005). At the intertidal, a higher zone dominated by invertebrates (littorinids and chthamalid barnacles) is followed by patches or fringes of the algae Fucus spiralis Linnaeus and Gelidium microdon Kützing, and some Ulva spp. The mid-shore zone (eulittoral) is covered by algal turfs, composed by soft algae (e.g. Centroceras, Chondracanthus) and/or by articulate calcareous (e.g. Corallina and Jania). The transition to the sublittoral level is mainly dominated by calcareous crusts (first strata), covered by corticated macrophytes e.g. Corallina, Pterocladiella (Neto pers. observ.).
Design Description The algae referred to in this occurrence dataset were collected during field studies at the intertidal São Jorge Island. Collections were done at low tide by walking along the shores and manually collecting one or two specimens of all different species found in each location into previously labelled bags. Species recording data was gathered by registering all species present in the visited locations. All collected specimens were given an individual registration number and vouchers were deposited at the AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha, based at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores.

The personnel involved in the project:

Albert Cámara
  • Content Provider
Afonso Prestes
  • Content Provider
Camille Fontaine
  • Content Provider
Francisco Wallenstein
  • Content Provider
José M. N. Azevedo
  • Content Provider
Rita Patarra
  • Content Provider
Ruben Couto
  • Content Provider
Vanda Brotas
  • Content Provider

Sampling Methods

Sampling encompassed both physical collections and species presence recordings. For the former, in each sampling location, collections were made at low tide by walking along the shores and manually gathering one or two specimens of all different species found into previously labelled bags. The species recording data was gathered by registering all species present in the sampled locations visited. Complementary data e.g. shore level (high, mid, low), orientation and type of substrate (bedrock, boulders, cobbles, mixed), habitat (tide pool, open rock, gully, crevice, cave) was also recorded.

Study Extent Sampling was performed at the island’s intertidal.
Quality Control The methodology adopted in the identification of the collected macroalgae comprised morphological and anatomical observations of the whole specimen or slide preparations with the naked eye and using dissecting and compound microscopes, in order to characterize the diagnosing structures described in the literature and compare them with descriptions from other locations. In more difficult cases, specimens were sent to experts for identification.

Method step description:

  1. In the laboratory the specimens were accommodated, sorted and studied following standard procedures used in macroalgae identification. Species identification was based on morphological and anatomical characters and reproductive structures. Various floras and keys from elsewhere were used for the species identification, namely 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). A reference collection was made for all specimens collected by giving them an herbarium code number and depositing them at the AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha, University of Azores. Depending on the species and on further planned research, different types of collections were made, namely (i) liquid collections using 5% buffered formaldehyde seawater and then replacing it by Kew (Bridsen & Forman 1999); (ii) dried collections, either by pressing the algae (most species) following the method described by Gayral and Cosson (1986) or by letting them air dry (calcareous species); and (iii) silica collections. 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 São Jorge (Azores)-Campaign TAPES/2007
Collection Identifier 57499715-7daa-4b9a-9561-08719dc7fb54
Parent Collection Identifier AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores.
Collection Name AZB|Marine macroalgae occurrence in São Jorge (Azores)-Campaign CAMAG-SJG/2008
Collection Identifier e7f1fecf-954c-4ae4-9feb-bda3ac46b768
Parent Collection Identifier Not applicable
Specimen preservation methods Dried and pressed,  Dried,  Formalin,  Other

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Afonso-Carrillo J & Sansón M, 1989. Clave llustrada para la Determinación de los Macrófitos Marinas Bentónicos de las Islas Canarias. Departamento de Biologia Vegetal (Botânica), Universidad de La Laguna, La Laguna. 55 pp.
  2. Boudouresque C-F, Meinesz A & Verlaque M, 1992. Médíterranée. In Boudouresque C-F et al. (Eds.), Guide des Algues des Mers d'Europe, pp: 138-231. Delachaux et Niestlé, Paris.
  3. Bridsen D & Forman L (Eds), 1999. The Herbarium Handbook. Third Edition. Kew: The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. xii, 334p., ISBN 1-900347-43-1.
  4. Brodie J, Maggs C, John DM (Eds.), 2007. The green seaweeds of Britain and Ireland. British Phycological Society, XII+242 pp. Dunmurry, Northern Ireland.
  5. Burrows EM, 1991. Seaweeds of the British lsles. Vol. 2. Chlorophyta. Natural History Museum, London. XII + 238 pp.
  6. Cabioc'h J, Floc'h J-Y & Le Toquin A, 1992. Manche et Atlantique. ln C.-F. Boudouresque, et al. (Eds.), Cuide des Algues des Mers d'Europe, pp: 30-136. Delachaux et Niestlé, Paris.
  7. Dixon SP & Irvine ML, 1977. Seaweeds of the British Isles. Vol. I Rhodophyta. Part 1 Introduction, Nemaliales, Gigartinales. XI+252p. British Museum (Natural History) London.
  8. Fletcher RL, 1987. Seaweeds of the British Isles. Vol. III. Fucophyceae (Phaeophyceae). Part 1. X+359p. British Museum (Natural History) London.
  9. Gayral P & Cosson J, 1986. Connaitre et reconnaitre les algues marines. 220p. Ouest France.
  10. Guiry MD & Guiry GM, 2020. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched on 30 March.
  11. Hortal J, de Bello F, Diniz-Filho JAF, Lewinsohn TM, Lobo JM & Ladle RJ (2015). Seven shortfalls that beset large-scale knowledge of biodiversity. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 46, 523-549.
  12. Instituto Hidrográfico, 1981. Roteiro do Arquipélago dos Açores. PUB. (N) -lli-128-SN, Lisboa.
  13. Irvine ML, 1983. Seaweeds of the British Isles. Vol. I Rhodophyta. Part 2 A Cryptonemiales (sensu stricto), Palmariales, Rhodymeniales. XII+115p. British Museum (Natural History) London.
  14. Irvine ML & Chamberlain YM, 1994. Seaweeds of the British Isles. Vol. 1. Rhodophyta. Part 2B. Corallinales, Hildenbrandiales. Natural History Museum, London. VII + 276 pp.
  15. Lawson Gw & John Dm, 1982. The marine algae and coastal environment of Tropical West Africa. 455p. Beihefte zur Nova Hedwigia, J. CRAMER, Vaduz.
  16. Levring T, 1974. The marine algae of the archipelago of Madeira. Boletim do Museu Municipal do Funchal, 28 (125): 5-111.
  17. Lloréns JLP, Cabrero IH, Lacida RB, González GP, Murillo FGB & Oñate JJV, 2012. Flora marina del litoral gaditano. Biologia, ecologia, usos y guía de identificacíon. 368 p. mCN Monografias de Ciencias de la Naturaleza. Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Cadiz, Cadiz.
  18. Madeira J, Brum da Silveira A, Serralheiro A, 1998. Paleoseismology study of Pico do Carvão Fault in the Island of S. Jorge (Azores). Comunicações do Instituto Geológico e Mineiro, 84(1): 97-100.
  19. Maggs CA & Hommersand MH, 1993. Seaweeds of tfte British Jsles. Vol1. Rhodophyta. Part 3A. Ceramiales. Natural History Museum, London. xv + 444 pp.
  20. Morton, B, Britton JC, Martins AMF, 1998. Coastal Ecology of the Azores. Sociedade Afonso Chaves, Ponta Delgada. 249pp.
  21. Neto AI, Tittley I & Raposeiro P, 2005. Flora Marinha do Litoral dos Açores [Rocky Shore Marine Flora of the Azores]. 156pp., Secretaria Regional do Ambiente e do Mar, Açores, ISBN 972 99884 0 4.
  22. Rodríguez-Prieto C, Ballesteros E, Boisset F & Afonso-Carrillo J, 2013. Guía de las macroalgas y fanerógamas marinas del Mediterráneo Occidental. 656 p. Ed. Omega, S.A., Barcelona.
  23. Schmidt OC, 1931. Die marine vegetation der Azoren in ihren Grundzügen dargestellt. Bibliotheca Botanica, 24(102): IX+116p., 10 Tafl.
  24. Taylor WR, 1967. Marine algae of the northeastern coasts of North America. VIII+509p. The University of Michigan Press.
  25. Taylor WR, 1978. Marine algae of the eastern tropical and subtropical coasts of the Americas. XXI+870p. The University of Michigan Press.

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