A new subtidal species of Dasya is reported from offshore algal plains of Puerto Rico and Grenada in the Caribbean. Closely invested with pigmented lateral branchlets giving the alga a shaggy appearance, the species bears close resemblance and genetic affinity to the Bermudian Dasya cryptica and a superficial resemblance to Pacific D. anastomosans. The new species differs from all known Atlantic congeners as well as non-Atlantic members of the “Dasya cryptica complex” both genetically and in possessing rhizoids among its pericentral and enlarged inner cortical cells.
About the authors
David L. Ballantine is presently a Research Associate in the Department of Botany, U.S. National Herbarium, Smithsonian Institution. He spent over 30 years at the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Puerto Rico where his research dealt primarily with systematics and ecology of Caribbean marine algae.
James N. Norris is currently a Research Scientist and Curator Emeritus in the Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. He has spent over 40 years at the museum and US National Herbarium, focusing his research on systematics and ecology of marine algae of Gulf of California, Pacific Mexico and Panama, and the tropical and subtropical western Atlantic.
Gabe P. Johnson obtained his Masters of Science degree in Plant Biology form Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and is currently a laboratory technician at the United States Natural History Museum, Smithsonian Institution. He has coauthored numerous molecular studies in which DNA is obtained from degraded herbarium specimen tissues. He specializes in optimizing DNA extraction techniques for a variety of streptophyte lineages for both selected historical materials as well as high throughput workflows for processing large number samples from recent collection projects.
Hector J. Ruiz Torres is an accomplished underwater photographer, specializing in ecology and systematics of Caribbean corals and marine algae, having collected marine algae to depths of greater than 200 m. He is currently a marine environmental consultant involved with conservation and restoration of mangrove, seagrass, and coral reef habitats.
We thank Dr. Gary Saunders who extracted and sequenced the CO1 gene of the new species. Ms. Ivis López Piniero, a former doctoral student in the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, provided the initial characterization for the new species and herein we credit her as an authority of Dasya hispida acknowledging her contribution to this study. Two anonymous reviewers offered comments that improved the manuscript.
Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.
Research funding: None declared.
Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.
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