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Botanica Marina

Editor-in-Chief: Dring, Matthew

Editorial Board Member: Enriquez Dominguez, Susana / Heimann, Kirsten / Pang, Ka-Lai / Pohnert, Georg / Poulin, Michel / Amsler, Charles D. / Beardall, John / Berges, John A. / Dawes, Clinton J. / Hoppenrath, Mona / Wynne, Michael J.

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Lomentaria benahoarensis (Lomentariaceae, Rhodophyta), a diminutive epiphytic new species from La Palma, Canary Islands (eastern Atlantic Ocean)

Julio Afonso-Carrillo1 / Carlos Sangil1, a / Marta Sansón1

1Departamento de Biología Vegetal (Botánica), Universidad de La Laguna (ULL), 38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

aCurrent address: Consorcio Insular de la Reserva Mundial de la Biosfera La Palma, Avenida Marítima 3, 38700 Santa Cruz de La Palma, La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain.

Corresponding author

Citation Information: Botanica Marina. Volume 52, Issue 3, Pages 236–247, ISSN (Online) 1437-4323, ISSN (Print) 0006-8055, DOI: 10.1515/BOT.2009.041, May 2009

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Published Online:


The marine red alga Lomentaria benahoarensis sp. nov. from the Canary Islands is described. Plants grow epiphytically on Corallina elongata forming turfs of creeping axes attached by lateral discoid holdfasts and erect axes up to 12 mm high. Erect axes are terete to slightly compressed, 200–300(–1000) μm broad, radially branched up to three orders, with laterals progressively thinner, constricted only at the bases of terminal axes. The cortex is three-layered with the outermost cortical cells arranged in a near-continuous surface layer. Medullary filaments form a loose network of narrow elongate cells, which bear secretory cells. Gametophytes are dioecious with spermatangia formed in continuous spermatangial sori; cystocarps are urceolate and ostiolate. Tetrasporangia are subspherical and formed in depressed rounded sori in slightly swollen regions in the middle of fertile terminal axes. The new species has no single unique feature, but differs from the other Lomentaria species by a distinctive combination of attributes. Closest related species to Lomentaria benahoarensis appear to be L. corallicola, L. gracillima, L. monochlamydea, L. orcadensis, L. rawitscheri, and L. tenerrima. Although all these species have a diminutive, decumbent habit and lack regular constrictions in axes, the number of cortical cell layers and the arrangement of outer cortical cells distinguish them.

Keywords: Canary Islands; Lomentaria benahoarensis; Lomentariaceae; Rhodophyta; Rhodymeniales

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