Chapter

Marine Algal Communities

Bernabé Santelices, John J. Bolton and Isabel Meneses

in Marine Macroecology

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780226904115
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226904146 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226904146.003.0006
Marine Algal Communities

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This chapter discusses the evidence that allows for a first characterization of macroecological patterns in macroalgae. There is little doubt that macroalgal species richness does not always increase toward the tropics, as is the case for most kinds of macroscopic organisms in terrestrial and marine habitats. In all the floras examined, there is a tendency for species to have smaller mean latitudinal ranges in the areas of greater species richness, but this is independent of the latitudinal patterns of species richness. For the macroalgae, using coastline length as a surrogate for area, there is a significant correlation between coastline length and species richness. Both local species richness and the productivity and morphological effects of upwelled waters seem determined by regional factors as well as local interactions. Although latitudinal patterns of macroalgal morphologies can be traced in many areas, the explanations of such patterns remain elusive, but there is little understanding of the selective advantages of the different types of macroalgal morphologies. Latitudinal patterns of growth types, on the other hand, suggest increases in clonal species richness in warmer waters.

Keywords: macroalgal; global-scale pattern; latitudinal gradient; floras; biomass; marine algae

Chapter.  15605 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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