Marine algal flora of São Miguel Island, Azores

Neto, A.I., Moreu, I., Rosas Alquicira, E.F., León-Cisneros, K., Cacabelos, E., Botelho, A.Z., Micael, J., Costa, A.C., Neto, R.M.A., Azevedo, J.M.N., Monteiro, S., Resendes, R., Afonso, P., Prestes, A.C.L., Patarra, R.F., Álvaro, N.V., Milla-Figueras, D., Ballesteros, E., Fletcher, R.L., Farnham, W., Tittley, I. & Parente, M.I. (2021) Marine algal flora of São Miguel Island, Azores.

Biodiversity Data Journal, 9, 1-52. DOI:10.3897/BDJ.9.e64969 (IF2019 1,331; Q3 Biodiversity Conservation)
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  • Apr, 2021



The macroalgal flora of the Island of São Miguel (eastern group of the Azores Archipelago) has attracted the interest of many researchers in the past, the first publications going back to the nineteenth century. Initial studies were mainly taxonomic, resulting in the publication of a checklist of the Azorean benthic marine algae. Later, the establishment of the University of the Azores on the Island permitted the logistic conditions to develop both temporal studies and long-term research and this resulted in a significant increase on research directed at the benthic marine algae and littoral communities of the Island and consequent publications.

Prior to the present paper, the known macroalgal flora of São Miguel Island comprised around 260 species. Despite this richness, a significant amount of the research was never made public, notably Masters and PhD theses encompassing information regarding presence data recorded at littoral and sublittoral levels down to a depth of approximately 40 m around the Island and the many collections made, which resulted in vouchers deposited in the AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha and the LSM- Molecular Systematics Laboratory at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores.

The present publication lists the macroalgal taxonomic records, together with information on their ecology and occurrence around São Miguel Island, improving the knowledge of the Azorean macroalgal flora at local and regional scales.

New information

A total of 12,781 specimens (including some identified only to genus) belonging to 431 taxa of macroalgae are registered, comprising 284 Rhodophyta, 59 Chlorophyta and 88 Ochrophyta (Phaeophyceae). Of these, 323 were identified to species level (212 Rhodophyta, 48 Chlorophyta and 63 Ochrophyta), of which 61 are new records for the Island (42 Rhodophyta, 9 Chlorophyta and 10 Ochrophyta), one an Azorean endemic (Predaea feldmannii subsp. azorica Gabriel), five are Macaronesian endemisms (the red algae Botryocladia macaronesica Afonso-Carrillo, Sobrino, Tittley & Neto, Laurencia viridis Gil-Rodríguez & Haroun, Millerella tinerfensis (Seoane-Camba) S.M.Boo & J.M.Rico, Phyllophora gelidioides P.Crouan & H.Crouan ex Karsakoff and the green alga Codium elisabethiae O.C.Schmidt), 19 are introduced species (15 Rhodophyta, two Chlorophyta and two Ochrophyta) and 32 are of uncertain status (21 Rhodophyta, five Chlorophyta and six Ochrophyta).