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Title: Seaweed biodiversity around the Antarctic Convergence in the South Atlantic
Author: Mystikou, Alexandra
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 1823
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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This study focuses on the seaweed biodiversity around the Antarctic Convergence in the South Atlantic. It integrates field work in the Falkland Islands and surrounding regions with algal culturing, molecular techniques, microscopy and morphological identification. Chapter 2 explores the diversity of seaweeds of the south-western Antarctic Peninsula which is poorly studied, contrasting with the substantial knowledge available for the northern parts of the Peninsula. A baseline seaweed species checklist for the southern Adelaide Island and northern Marguerite Bay region is presented here, combining data obtained during a small number of surveys in 1973-5 and a six week intensive diving-based field campaign in 2010-2011. Subantarctic and Antarctic regions remain little studied in their seaweed diversity. Chapter 3 is based upon field collections in the early 1970s and 2007-2013. It is supported by sequencing COI and reports new records of several macroalgal species and an oomycete. Chapter 4 revisits the enigmatic Subantarctic brown alga Cladochroa chnoosporiformis, which had been collected only on one occasion by Carl Skottsberg in 1907 from Port Philomel, West Falkland, resulting in its formal taxonomic description. Within the framework of this study, Cladochroa was rediscovered after 106 years at its type locality, confirming its existence and morphological features as described by Skottsberg. The recollection enabled molecular studies of its phylogenetic placement by DNA sequencing, suggesting that C. chnoosporiformis is conspecific with Utriculidium durvillei. In Chapter 5, DNA barcoding was applied to both seaweed tissue samples taken while preparing herbarium specimens during 2 expeditions to the Falkland Islands, and to live macroalgal isolates obtained from substratum samples using the Germling Emergence Method. In several cases, this enabled detection of previously unsequenced or undescribed taxa, respectively. The potential and challenges of applying DNA barcoding for cataloguing the biodiversity of remote bioregions such as the Falklands are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Aberdeen ; South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute ; Falkland Islands Government
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Marine algae