The Chlorophytes of Curaçao (Caribbean): a revised checklist for the south-west coast

Anna Fricke 1 , 2 , Tamara V. Titlyanova 3 , Mirta Teichberg 1 , Maggy M. Nugues 4 , 5 , 6  and Kai Bischof 7
  • 1 Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Fahrenheitstrasse 6, 28359 Bremen, Germany
  • 2 Instituto Argentino de Oceanografía, Florida 4750, B8000FWB Bahía Blanca, Argentina
  • 3 A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Palchevskogo 17, Vladivostok, 690041, Russia
  • 4 EPHE, F-66860 Perpignan, France
  • 5 Labex Corail, CRIOBE, 98729 Moorea, French Polynesia
  • 6 Carmabi Foundation, Piscaderabaai z/n, PO Box 2090, Willemstad, Curaçao
  • 7 University of Bremen, Leobener Str. NW2, 28359 Bremen, Germany
Anna Fricke
  • Corresponding author
  • Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Fahrenheitstrasse 6, 28359 Bremen, Germany
  • Instituto Argentino de Oceanografía, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas and Universidad Nacional del Sur, Florida 4750, B8000FWB Bahía Blanca, Argentina
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  • Anna Fricke is a scientific researcher at the Instituto Argentino de Oceanografía (IADO, Argentina) and guest researcher at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Ecology (Germany). She was awarded a PhD in Natural Sciences jointly by the University of Bremen and the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Ecology (Germany) for work on succession patterns of tropical turf algae, and was enrolled in International Graduate School for Marine Sciences “Global Change in the Marine Realm” (GLOMAR, MARUM Bremen). In her research she addresses the biodiversity and ecophysiology of benthic algal communities at different latitudes, ranging from descriptive to experimental studies in relation to environmental changes.
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, Tamara V. Titlyanova
  • A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Palchevskogo 17, Vladivostok, 690041, Russia
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  • Tamara V. Titlyanova is a scientific researcher at the Institute of Marine Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences. She is an author of more than 100 scientific papers and co-author of the books: Marine plants of Asia-Pacific region countries, their use and cultivation (2012), Marine plants of Trinity Bay and adjacent waters (Peter the Great Bay) (2013), Useful marine plants of the Asia-Pacific countries (2016), “Coral reef marine plants of Hainan Island (2017). Her present endeavor is the study of the taxonomy, physiology and ecology of marine plants in tropical and subtropical seas. Her more recent research has concentrated on decadal changes in the marine flora of the tropical and subtropical seas of the Pacific Ocean.
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, Mirta Teichberg
  • Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Fahrenheitstrasse 6, 28359 Bremen, Germany
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  • Mirta Teichberg is a marine ecologist with a position as a research scientist at ZMT since 2007 and head of the research group Algae and Seagrass Ecology since 2012. Dr Teichberg focuses on the study of marine benthic ecology including seagrass, macroalgae, and reef community dynamics and ecophysiology. She has worked in temperate and tropical coastal shallow water estuarine, mangrove, seagrass, and coral reefs ecosystems, and specializes in eutrophication and macroalgal bloom dynamics in these regions. She has expertise in nutrient enrichment experimental methods, photosynthesis and nutrient uptake and assimilation of marine plants and algae, and isotopic methods to determine linkages between land-based activities and marine benthic and pelagic communities.
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, Maggy M. Nugues
  • EPHE, PSL Research University, UPVD-CNRS, USR 3278 CRIOBE, F-66860 Perpignan, France
  • Labex Corail, CRIOBE, 98729 Moorea, French Polynesia
  • Carmabi Foundation, Piscaderabaai z/n, PO Box 2090, Willemstad, Curaçao
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  • Maggy M. Nugues is Associate Professor at the USR 3278 CRIOBE since 2011. She studies processes and mechanisms regulating the dynamics of benthic reef organisms, in particular corals and algae. Before joining her current institution, she worked as research scientist at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research in Germany and as postdoctoral fellow in the East Kalimantan Project at Royal NIOZ in the Netherlands. In 2004, she was appointed as Research Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in the US. She holds a PhD in environmental management from the University of York, England.
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and Kai Bischof
  • University of Bremen, Department of Marine Botany, Leobener Str. NW2, 28359 Bremen, Germany
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  • Kai Bischof heads the department of Marine Botany at the University of Bremen, Germany. From the very start of his career, his research has been focussed on the ecophysiology of seaweeds, with special emphasis on adaptive strategies under environmental change, photoacclimation and bioinvasion. Kai Bischof has been involved in a multitude of research projects in tropical regions, and both the Arctic and Antarctic, but furthermore he maintains co-operations with partners in Chile, Norway, China and New Zealand. Kai Bischof teaches aquatic botany, phycology, plant physiology, and marine ecology in BSc, MSc and PhD programs at the University of Bremen.
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The global trend of unprecedented losses in coral reefs is particularly striking in the Caribbean, where dense algal assemblages are commonly replacing corals. So far, hardly anything is known about the ecology of the dominant algal groups. The present study compiled records of Chlorophytes from nine studies in the shallow reefs of Curaçao in the years preceding the onset of coral reef decline (1908–1978) and compared them with records from three recent (2007–2009) expeditions conducted at the same and nearby study locations along the south-west coast of the island. A total of 107 species were encountered, including seven new records for Curaçao (Anadyomene saldanhae, Bryopsis hypnoides, Chaetomorpha minima, Derbesia fastigiata, Ulva flexuosa subsp. paradoxa, Ulvella scutata and Ulvella lens). Sampled material revealed a higher species number during the dry seasons than during the wet seasons, indicating a seasonal variation in algal growth. Most species grew on hard substratum or were epibiotic, and 13 species were found growing on more than one substratum. Comparisons with earlier studies suggest an extension in depth range for nine species. The present work provides a comprehensive overview of the distribution of Chlorophytes of the island and can serve as an important baseline for further research on coral reef ecosystem changes.

    • Supplementary material
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