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Botanica Marina

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Volume 58, Issue 6


The South African estuarine specialist Codium tenue (Bryopsidales, Chlorophyta) discovered in a south-western Australian estuary

John M. Huisman
  • Corresponding author
  • School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, 6150 WA, Australia
  • Science Division, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, 6983 WA, Australia
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Rainbo R.M. Dixon / Felicity N. Hart / Heroen Verbruggen / Robert J. Anderson
  • Fisheries Research, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Private Bag X2, 8012 Roggebaai, South Africa
  • Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town, 7701 Rondebosch, South Africa
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-11-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2015-0058


Codium tenue, previously known reliably only from estuarine habitats in South Africa, is recorded from a similar habitat in the Walpole and Nornalup Inlet system, on the south coast of Western Australia. The Australian C. tenue has a repeatedly divaricately dichotomously branched thallus to 11.5 cm in height, with markedly compressed axes up to 1 cm in width at branch dichotomies, but distally attenuating to terete branch apices. Structurally, thalli have cortices with distinctive cuneate utricles up to 1310 μm long and 650 μm in diameter. Both the habit and structural morphology essentially agree with C. tenue as known in South Africa. Sequences generated from the Australian specimens are also wholly comparable with those of South African specimens newly generated in this study. While similarly disjunct South African/Western Australian distributions are known for other algae, that of C. tenue is particularly remarkable in that the species is apparently an estuarine specialist.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: Australia; Codiaceae; Codium tenue; disjunct distribution; South Africa


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About the article

John M. Huisman

John M. Huisman is a research fellow at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. He earned his PhD at the University of Melbourne, where he developed his interests in the taxonomy of marine macroalgae. After moving to Perth he embarked on an ambitious lifelong project to document (by description and photographically) the seaweeds of Australia’s west coast, an undertaking disrupted briefly in 2002–2003 when he spent a rewarding sojourn at the University of Hawaii. John has authored several books, including Marine Plants of Australia and Hawaiian Reef Plants, and is presently writing a book on the marine flora of tropical Western Australia.

Rainbo R.M. Dixon

Rainbo R.M. Dixon completed undergraduate studies in Science at the University of Melbourne in 2005 with an honours project on the ethnobotany of marine plants in Vanuatu, supervised by Dr. Gerry Kraft. She undertook PhD studies at Murdoch University under the supervision of Dr. John Huisman looking at taxonomy and phylogenetics in the brown algal genus Sargassum, completing in 2015. Rainbo currently work in the research group of Professor Andrew Lowe at the University of Adelaide on DNA timber tracking.

Felicity N. Hart

Felicity N. Hart completed her BSc (Hons.) at Murdoch University in 2010, her research topic assessing the diversity and pest potential of Codium in Western Australia. She currently works as a botanical consultant.

Heroen Verbruggen

Heroen Verbruggen is a senior lecturer in the School of Biosciences at the University of Melbourne. Research in his lab focuses on the evolutionary diversification of marine algae, using molecular phylogenetics to explore their diversification and answer specific questions about their evolution. Systematic research is also a focus, including the question how molecular and morphometric data can complement one another in algal species delimitation.

Robert J. Anderson

Robert J. Anderson obtained his PhD at the University of Cape Town in 1982 and since then has been employed as a seaweed biologist by the Fisheries Department of the South African government, where he is responsible for research on seaweed resources. He is also an honorary Associate Professor at UCT. He is interested in most aspects of seaweed biology, including ecology, biogeography and taxonomy.

Corresponding author: John M. Huisman, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, 6150 WA, Australia; and W.A. Herbarium, Science Division, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, 6983 WA, Australia, e-mail:

Received: 2015-07-21

Accepted: 2015-09-30

Published Online: 2015-11-05

Published in Print: 2015-12-01

Citation Information: Botanica Marina, Volume 58, Issue 6, Pages 511–521, ISSN (Online) 1437-4323, ISSN (Print) 0006-8055, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2015-0058.

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