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Lobophora (Dictyotales, Phaeophyceae) from the western Indian Ocean: diversity and biogeography

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

  • Christophe Vieira
  • Faravavy A. Rasoamanendrika
  • Mayalen Zubia
  • John J. Bolton
  • Robert J. Anderson
  • Aschwin H. Engelen
  • Sofie D'hondt
  • Frederik Leliaert
  • Claude Payri
  • Hiroshi Kawai
  • Olivier De Clerck
The brown algal genus Lobophora (Dictyotales, Phaeophyceae) is an important ecological component of tropical marine systems. Although still scantily sampled, 35 species of Lobophora were discovered previously from the western Indian Ocean. This study updates previous diversity estimates by incorporating recent collections from Madagascar, Mozambique, and the Red Sea, considerably improving our knowledge of Lobophora diversity and biogeography in this region. Eight additional species are identified from the western Indian Ocean, raising the total number of Lobophora species to 43. Fifteen species are new to science and described herein. With ca. 40% of the global diversity, the western Indian Ocean is second only to the Central Indo-Pacific. Of the species identified to date, 29 appear to be restricted to the western Indian Ocean, three are shared with the Atlantic (four including L. lessepsiana introduced to the western Mediterranean Sea) and 12 have a wider distribution in the Indo-Pacific. The western Indian Ocean supports a high diversity with ca. 67% of its Lobophora restricted to this region, which is comparable to the Central Indo-Pacific (62%) and the Caribbean (61%). The presence of several putative endemic species in the western Indian Ocean islands and the Red Sea illustrates that these provinces played an important role in Lobophora species diversification within the western Indian Ocean by producing locally new species. The small number of species shared between the western Indo-Pacific and Atlantic indicates that this oceanic boundary – associated with the temperate Agulhas marine province, and the Benguela current and upwelling – acts as an effective dispersal barrier.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSouth African Journal of Botany
Pages (from-to)230-246
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2021
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