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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 28, 2017

First record of Ruppia maritima in West Africa supported by morphological description and phylogenetic classification

José Martínez-Garrido ORCID logo, Joel C. Creed, Samir Martins, Carmen H. Almada and Ester A. Serrão
From the journal Botanica Marina


Ruppiamaritima (widgeon grass) has been identified phylogenetically for the first time from West Africa (Santiago Island, Cape Verde). Genetic markers distinguished this species from the tetraploid Ruppia cf. maritima previously known from West Africa. Taxonomic description, photographs and molecular phylogenetic classification are provided here. The results show that, in Cape Verde, the species is phylogenetically closer to European and northeast American than to Indo-Pacific populations. This study extends the known distribution of R. maritima, an ecosystem structuring species that provides essential habitat for threatened animals.


We thank Cymon Cox for manuscript revision and Peter Wirtz for helping with the collection and for providing the photo. This study was made possible given the support from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (program PGCD), Portugal, and the Cape Verde University. It was also funded by FCT, the Portuguese Science Foundation (CCMAR-UID/Multi/04326/2013) and the Pew Foundation Marine Fellow program (EAS). JCC was supported by CAPES (Ciências do Mar 1137/2010), FAPERJ (E26/201.286/2014), and CNPq (305330/2010-1).


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Received: 2016-12-5
Accepted: 2017-6-30
Published Online: 2017-7-28
Published in Print: 2017-8-28

©2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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