Biodiversity Data Journal : Data Paper (Biosciences)
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Data Paper (Biosciences)
Marine algal flora of Formigas Islets, Azores
expand article infoAna I. Azevedo Neto, Afonso C. L. Prestes, José M. N. Azevedo, Roberto Resendes§, Nuno Vaz Álvaro|, Raul M. A. Neto, Ignacio Moreu
‡ cE3c - Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes/Azorean Biodiversity Group & Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade dos Açores, 9500-321 Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Açores, Portugal
§ Universidade dos Açores, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Departamento de Biologia, 9500-321 Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Açores, Portugal
| Universidade dos Açores, Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias, CCMMG (Centro do Clima Meteorologia e Mudanças Globais), IITA-A (Instituto de Investigação e Tecnologias Agrárias e do Ambiente), 9700-042 Angra dp Heroísmo, Terceira, Portugal
¶ N/A, Odivelas, Portugal
Open Access

Abstract

Background

The oldest reference to marine life in Formigas Islets (oriental group of the Azores archipelago) goes back to the 16th century. Nevertheless, their macroalgal flora is poorly known, the published information mainly resulting from occasional collections of sporadic visitors. To overcome this and contribute to the knowledge of Azorean macroalgal flora at both local and regional scales, a thorough investigation was conducted in 1990 and 1991 under two expeditions promoted by the Marine Biology Research Group of the Department of Biology, University of the Azores. Collections and presence data recordings were undertaken at the littoral and sublittoral levels down to approximately 40 m, in an area of approximately 0.04 km2. This paper lists the taxonomic records and provides information regarding each species’ ecology and occurrence on the Islets’ littoral.

New information

A total of 320 specimens are registered (including taxa identified only at generic level) belonging to 90 taxa of macroalgae, from which 70 were diagnosed at species level. The confirmed species comprise 39 Rhodophyta, 12 Chlorophyta and 19 Ochrophyta (Phaeophyceae), distributed in 22 orders (13 Rhodophyta, 3 Chlorophyta and 6 Ochrophyta) and 37 families (24 Rhodophyta, 6 Chlorophyta and 7 Ochrophyta). Sixty-one species represent new records for the Islets, from which Botryocladia macaronesica Afonso-Carrillo, Sobrino, Tittley & Neto and Laurencia viridis Gil-Rodriguez & Haroun are Macaronesian endemisms. Most species are native to the Azores, but six have an uncertain origin and four are introduced (the Rhodophyta Asparagopsis armata Harvey; Laurencia dendroidea J.Agardh; Neoizziella divaricata (C.K.Tseng) S.-M.Lin, S.-Y.Yang & Huisman and the Ochrophyta Hydroclathrus tilesii (Endlicher) Santiañez & M.J.Wynne).

Keywords

Macroalgae, new records, Azores, Formigas Islets, endemism, native, introduced, uncertain, occurrence data.

Introduction

The Formigas Islets are located about 31 km NE of Santa Maria Island and 55 km SE of São Miguel Island (oriental group of Azorean archipelago, approximately 37°16′35″N, 24°46′54″W). They are arranged in a N-S direction, over a total length of about 165 m and a width of 80 m. Together with the submersed bank of Dollabarat, they form the Nature Reserve of Formigas Bank (DLR n° 11/88/ A).

The oldest reference to life in Formigas Islets consists of descriptions of its marine fauna in the 16th century manuscript "Saudades da terra", written by the naturalist clergyman Gaspar Frutuoso. Subsequently, these Islets were occasionally studied in sporadic visits by researchers, the first reference to the marine macroalgae being that of Piccone (1889). After that, several expeditions were made in order to study of the fauna and flora of the Islets, which resulted in a few publications (see revision in Azevedo et al. 1991). An important finding was the first Azorean record of the brown alga Laminaria ochroleuca Bachelot de la Pylaie (made by Ardré et al. 1973). Despite these efforts, the algal flora of these Islets remained poorly known until the nineties, when a thorough investigation conducted by the Marine Biology Research Group of the Department of Biology, University of the Azores, took place. This research group went to the Islets in 1990 and 1991 and undertook collections and presence data recordings at the littoral and sublittoral levels down to about 40 m, over an area of approximately 0.04 km2.

General description

Purpose: 

This paper, aimed at contributing to a better understanding of the seaweed flora of the Azores archipelago, lists the macroalgae recorded on surveys undertaken on the Formigas Islets (Azores, eastern group) and presents general information for each taxon’s occurrence on the Islets’ littoral, thus addressing several biodiversity shortfalls (see Hortal et al. 2015), namely the need to catalogue the Azorean macroalgae (Linnean shortfall) and improve the current information on their local and regional geographic distribution (Wallacean shortfall), as well as on species abundances and dynamics in space (Prestonian shortfall). It is intended as a resource for academics, students, government, private organisations and the general public and also as a practical basis for biological studies, such as systematics, diversity and conservation, biological monitoring, climate change and ecology.

Project description

Title: 

Marine algal (seaweed) flora of Formigas Islets, Azores

Personnel: 

Sampling took place in the summers of 1990 and 1991 under the coordination of Ana I. Neto. Main collectors were Ana I. Neto, Bruno Brum, Carlos Rodrigues, Heather Baldwin, João Brum, José M. N. Azevedo, José Pedro Viegas and Luís Resendes.

Ana I. Neto and Heather Baldwin were responsible for the species identification.

Voucher specimen management was mainly undertaken by Afonso Prestes, Ana I. Neto, Eunice Nogueira, Natália Cabral and Roberto Resendes.

Study area description: 

Located in the eastern group of the Azores archipelago, the Formigas Islets (37°16′35″N, 24°46′54″W, Fig. 1) are approximately 32 km NE of Santa Maria Island and 55 km SE of São Miguel Island, thus being the most isolated Islets of the Azores. Consequently, they are relatively protected from human action and function as a breeding and nursing ground for many marine species occurring in the Azorean waters (Costa et al. 1994). The Islets, together with the submersed bank of Dollabarat, form the Formigas Bank, located between the parallels 37°14'N and 37°17'N and the meridians 24°43'W and 24°47'W, occupying an area about 11 km long and 5 km wide (Azevedo et al. 1991) and designated as a Nature Reserve in 1988 (DLR n° 11/88/ A).

Figure 1.  

The Azores, its location in the Atlantic and Formigas Islets highlighted in black (by Nuno V. Álvaro).

The Formigas Islets are located in the NW part of the bank. With a N-S arrangement, they have a total length of about 165 m and width of 80 m, with an area of compact rocks in the southern part and one of large blocks in the North (Fig. 2). The highest block (Formigão) is 11 m high. In the South region, there is a lighthouse, from which there are two small anchorages (Azevedo et al. 1991).

Figure 2.  

Formigas Islets with indication of the sampling locations (by Nuno V. Álvaro).

As in the remaining archipelago, the climate is temperate oceanic with persistent winds, regular and abundant rainfall and high levels of relative humidity, mainly during winter and autumn (Morton et al. 1998). The tidal range is small (< 2 m, see Hidrográfico 1981) and the Islets are surrounded by deep waters. Intertidal space is limited and permanently subjected to the action of the waves, which does not allow the establishment of terrestrial fauna and flora (Costa et al. 1994), but the marine biota is rich. Most seaweeds and invertebrates that characterise the exposed Azorean coasts can be found there; the great clarity of the waters allows the algal communities to extend to great depths. This profusion of algae provides shelter and food for many animals and supports a complex food web (Costa et al. 1994).

The intertidal zone is narrow and mostly dominated by animals (e.g. gastropods, chthamalid barnacles and decapods) and algal turfs (mostly composed by various species of Ceramium spp. and Gymnogongrus spp.) (Fig. 3), that are typically found in most of the Islands. The many channels that cross the rocky platforms are dominated by luxuriant forms of the brown algae Cystoseira spp., Treptacantha abies-marina (Fig. 4) and Sargassum spp. At the low intertidal, the algal turfs give rise to erect forms of algae, for example, Elisolandia elongata (Fig. 5). Subtidally, the rocky walls and rocky platforms are covered with erect, corticated macrophytes, for example, Dictyota spp. and Plocamium cartilagineum (Fig. 6). At and below 40 m depth, the leathery brown algae Laminaria ochroleuca can form some monospecific patches (Neto, pers. observ.).

Figure 3.  

Mid-shore intertidal level showing gastropods, chthamalid barnacles and algal turf (by the Island Aquatic Ecology Subgroup of cE3c-ABG).

Figure 4.  

Treptacantha abies-marina in an intertidal channel (by the Island Aquatic Ecology Subgroup of cE3c-ABG).

Figure 5.  

Low intertidal showing multi-specific algal turf and Elisolandia elongata (by the Island Aquatic Ecology Subgroup of cE3c-ABG).

Figure 6.  

Frondose macrophytes (Dictyota spp. and Plocamium cartilagineum) at the subtidal level (by the Island Aquatic Ecology Subgroup of cE3c-ABG).

Design description: 

The macroalgae, referred to in this paper, were collected during field studies at littoral and sublittoral levels down to approximately 40 m on the Formigas Islets, over an area of 0.04 km2 (Table 1, Fig. 2). Intertidal collections were undertaken at low tide by walking over the shore. Subtidal collections were undertaken by scuba diving. Each sampling location was visited several times. On each occasion, a careful survey was made to allow a good coverage of the area. Whenever an unknown species was found, it was collected, given an individual registration number and vouchers deposited at the AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha, at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores.

Table 1.

Formigas Islets' sampling sites information.

Location N0 Location ID Municipality Locality Latitude / Longitude geodeticDatum Littoral zone
1 FOR_FOR_PNI Formigas Ponta norte do ilhéu 37,272261, -24,780546 WGS294 Intertidal
3 FOR_FOR_AVI1 Formigas À volta do ilhéu 1 37,270887, -24,779604 WGS84 Subtidal
4 FOR_FOR_AVI2 Formigas À volta do ilhéu 2 37,271983, -24,779321 WGS84 Subtidal
2 FOR_FOR_AVI3 Formigas À volta do ilhéu 3 37,27011, -24,780593 WGS84 Intertidal
5 FOR_FOR_II Formigas No intertidal do ilhéu 37,270904, -24,780187 WGS84 Intertidal
6 FOR_FOR_II Formigas No intertidal do ilhéu 37,271014, -24,779862 WGS84 Subtidal
7 FOR_FOR_LOI Formigas Lado oeste do ilhéu 37,270836, -24,781069 WGS84 Subtidal
8 FOR_FOR_LOIba Formigas Lado oeste do ilhéu | Destroço de um barco afundado 37,270025, -24,781135 WGS84 Subtidal
Funding: 

This study was mainly financed by the following projects/scientific expeditions:

  • Expedition SANTA MARIA and FORMIGAS/90, Departamento de Biologia da Universidade dos Açores, Ilha de Santa Maria e Ilhéus das Formigas, Açores, June 1990;
  • Expedition FORMIGAS/91, Secção de Biologia Marinha do Departamento de Biologia da Universidade dos Açores, Ilhéus das Formigas, July 1991;
  • Project “ACORES-01-0145-FEDER-000072 - AZORES BIOPORTAL – PORBIOTA. Operational Programme Azores 2020 (85% ERDF and 15% regional funds);
  • Portuguese National Funds, through FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, within the projects UID/BIA/00329/2019 and UID/BIA/00329/2020-2023;
  • CIRN/DB/UAc (Research Centre for Natural Resources, Universidade dos Açores, Departamento de Biologia).

Sampling methods

Study extent: 

Collections were made at littoral and sublittoral levels down to about 40 m around Formigas Islets over a total area of approximately 0.04 km2 (Fig. 2).

Sampling description: 

Intertidal collections were made at low tide by walking over the shore. Subtidal collections were made by scuba diving. In each sampling location, one or two specimens of all different species found were scraped into labelled bags (Fig. 7). Complementary data, such as shore level (high, mid, low), orientation and type of substrate (bedrock, boulders, mixed), habitat (tide pool, open rock, gully, crevice) were also recorded.

Figure 7.  

Collecting macroalgae at the rocky intertidal (by the Island Aquatic Ecology Subgroup of cE3c-ABG).

Quality control: 

Each sampled taxon was investigated by trained taxonomists with the help of keys and floras. This involved morphological and anatomical examination by eye or under the dissecting and compound microscopes of an entire specimen or slide preparation. In difficult cases, specimens were sent to experts for identification.

Step description: 

In the laboratory, the specimens were sorted and studied following standard procedures used in macroalgae identification.

Species identification was based on morphological and anatomical characters and reproductive structures. For small and simple thalli, this required the observation of the entire thallus with the naked eye and/or using dissecting and compound microscopes. For larger and more complex algae, the investigation of thalli anatomy required histological work to obtain longitudinal and transverse sections needed for the observation of cells, reproductive structures and other diagnostic characters.

Due to the mixed nature of the Azorean macroalgal flora, relevant floras from the Atlantic and western Mediterranean were used for the species identification (e.g. Schmidt 1931, Taylor 1967, Taylor 1978, Levring 1974, Dixon and Irvine 1977, Lawson and John 1982, Irvine 1983, Gayral and Cosson 1986, Fletcher 1987, Afonso-Carrillo and Sansón 1989, Burrows 1991, Boudouresque et al. 1992, Cabioc'h et al. 1992, Maggs and Hommersand 1993, Irvine and Chamberlain 1994, Brodie et al. 2007, Lloréns et al. 2012, Rodríguez-Prieto et al. 2013).

For more critical and taxonomically-difficult taxa, specimens were taken to the herbarium of the Natural History Museum (London) for comparison with collections there.

A reference collection was made for all specimens collected by giving them a herbarium code number and depositing them at the AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha, University of Azores. Depending on the species and on further research planned, different types of collections were made, namely (i) liquid collections using 5% buffered formaldehyde seawater and then replacing it by the fixing agent Kew (Bridsen and Forman 1999) and (ii) dried collections, either by pressing the algae (most species) following the method described by Gayral and Cosson (1986).

Nomenclatural and taxonomic status used here follow Algaebase (Guiry and Guiry 2020). The database was organised on FileMaker Pro.

Geographic coverage

Description: 

Formigas Islets, Azores, Macaronesia, Portugal (approximately 37°16′35″N, 24°46′54″W).

Coordinates: 

37.269 and 37.276 Latitude; -24.783 and -24.778 Longitude.

Taxonomic coverage

Description: 

All macroalgae were identified to genus or species level. In total, 90 taxa were identified comprising 71 confirmed species, belonging to 22 orders and 37 families, distributed by the phyla Rhodophyta (13 orders and 24 families), Chlorophyta (3 orders and 6 families) and Ochrophyta (6 orders and 7 families) (see Tables 2, 3).

Table 2.

Macroalgae species from Formigas Islets, with information on their relative abundance, origin and status.

Phylum

Species (Accepted Name)

Number of records

Establishment Means

Occurrence Remarks

Rhodophyta

Amphiroa beauvoisii J.V.Lamouroux

1

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Asparagopsis armata Harvey

12

Introduced

New record

Rhodophyta

Bornetia secundiflora (J.Agardh) Thuret

4

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Botryocladia macaronesica Afonso-Carrillo, Sobrino, Tittley & Neto

2

Macaronesian endemism

New record

Rhodophyta

Callithamnion corymbosum (J.E.Smith) Lyngbye

1

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Callithamnion tetragonum (Withering) S.F.Gray

1

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Centroceras clavulatum (C.Agardh) Montagne

1

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Ceramium ciliatum (J.Ellis) Ducluzeau

2

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Ceramium deslongchampsii Chauvin ex Duby

4

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Ceramium diaphanum (Lightfoot) Roth

4

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Ceramium gaditanum (Clemente) Cremades

8

Uncertain

New record

Rhodophyta

Chondria capillaris (Hudson) M.J.Wynne

1

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Chondria dasyphylla (Woodward) C.Agardh

4

Uncertain

New record

Rhodophyta

Cryptopleura ramosa (Hudson) L.Newton

12

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Dasya ocellata (Grateloup) Harvey

3

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Digenea simplex (Wulfen) C.Agardh

4

Native

Rhodophyta

Dudresnaya verticillata (Withering) Le Jolis

1

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Gelidium spinosum (S.G.Gmelin) P.C.Silva

1

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Gymnogongrus crenulatus (Turner) J.Agardh

3

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Gymnogongrus griffithsiae (Turner) C.Martius

2

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Halurus equisetifolius (Lightfoot) Kützing

1

Native

Rhodophyta

Haraldiophyllum bonnemaisonii (Kylin) A.D.Zinova

2

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Itonoa marginifera (J.Agardh) Masuda & Guiry

1

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Laurencia dendroidea J.Agardh

6

Introduced

New record

Rhodophyta

Laurencia viridis Gil-Rodriguez & Haroun

3

Macaronesian endemism

New record

Rhodophyta

Leptosiphonia brodiei (Dillwyn) A.M.Savoie & G.W.Saunders

1

Uncertain

New record

Rhodophyta

Lophosiphonia obscura (C.Agardh) Falkenberg

1

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Meredithia microphylla (J.G.Arardh) J.G.Agardh

8

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Nemalion elminthoides (Velley) Batters

6

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Neoizziella divaricata (C.K.Tseng) S.-M.Lin, S.-Y.Yang & Huisman

2

Introduced

New record

Rhodophyta

Peyssonnelia squamaria (S.G.Gmelin) Decaisne ex J.Agardh

1

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Platoma cyclocolpum (Montagne) F.Schmitz

4

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Plocamium cartilagineum (Linnaeus) P.S.Dixon

11

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Polysiphonia atlantica Kapraun & J.N.Norris

2

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Pterocladiella capillacea (S.G.Gmelin) Santelices & Hommersand

9

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Pyropia leucosticta (Thuret) Neefus & J.Brodie

1

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Rhodymenia holmesii Ardissone

3

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Scinaia furcellata (Turner) J.Agardh

7

Native

New record

Rhodophyta

Vertebrata fucoides (Hudson) Kuntze

1

Uncertain

New record

Chlorophyta

Bryopsis cupressina J.V.Lamouroux

2

Native

New record

Chlorophyta

Bryopsis hypnoides J.V.Lamouroux

2

Native

New record

Chlorophyta

Chaetomorpha linum (O.F.Müller) Kützing

4

Native

New record

Chlorophyta

Cladophora albida (Nees) Kützing

2

Native

New record

Chlorophyta

Cladophora coelothrix Kützing

1

Native

New record

Chlorophyta

Cladophora laetevirens (Dillwyn) Kützing

4

Uncertain

New record

Chlorophyta

Codium adhaerens C.Agardh

1

Native

New record

Chlorophyta

Phyllodictyon anastomosans (Harvey) Kraft & M.J.Wynne

1

Native

Chlorophyta

Ulva compressa Linnaeus

1

Native

New record

Chlorophyta

Ulva linza Linnaeus

2

Native

New record

Chlorophyta

Ulva rigida C.Agardh

6

Native

New record

Chlorophyta

Valonia utricularis (Roth) C.Agardh

3

Native

New record

Ochrophyta

Canistrocarpus cervicornis (Kützing) J.C.De Paula & De Clerck

1

Native

New record

Ochrophyta

Carpomitra costata (Stackhouse) Batters

6

Native

Ochrophyta

Colpomenia sinuosa (Mertens ex Roth) Derbès & Solier

7

Native

New record

Ochrophyta

Cystoseira compressa (Esper) Gerloff & Nizamuddin

8

Native

New record

Ochrophyta

Cystoseira humilis Schousboe ex Kützing

1

Native

New record

Ochrophyta

Dictyopteris polypodioides (DC.) J.V.Lamouroux

2

Native

Ochrophyta

Dictyota bartayresiana J.V.Lamouroux

9

Native

New record

Ochrophyta

Dictyota dichotoma (Hudson) J.V.Lamouroux

8

Native

New record

Ochrophyta

Dictyota dichotoma var. intricata (C.Agardh) Greville

5

Native

New record

Ochrophyta

Ectocarpus siliculosus (Dillwyn) Lyngberg

6

Uncertain

New record

Ochrophyta

Halopteris filicina (Grateloup) Kützing

7

Native

Ochrophyta

Halopteris scoparia (Linnaeus) Sauvageau

3

Native

New record

Ochrophyta

Hydroclathrus tilesii (Endlicher) Santiañez & M.J.Wynne

1

Introduced

New record

Ochrophyta

Laminaria ochroleuca Bachelot de la Pylaie

7

Native

Ochrophyta

Padina pavonica (Linnaeus) Thivy

2

Native

New record

Ochrophyta

Sargassum cymosum C.Agardh

4

Native

New record

Ochrophyta

Sargassum furcatum Kützing

6

Native

New record

Ochrophyta

Treptacantha abies-marina (S.G.Gmelin) Kützing

9

Native

Ochrophyta

Zonaria tournefortii (J.V.Lamouroux) Montagne

13

Native

Table 3.

Main taxonomic figures with information on the species origin and status.

Phyllum

Order

Family

Specimens Number

Total taxa

Total species

Native

Intro-duced

Uncertain

Macaro-nesian endemism

New record

Rhodophyta

13

24

169

54

39

30

3

4

2

37

Chlorophyta

3

6

33

14

12

11

1

11

Ochrophyta

6

7

118

22

19

17

1

1

13

Total

22

37

320

90

70

58

4

6

2

61

Taxa included:
Rank Scientific Name Common Name
phylum Rhodophyta Red algae
phylum Chlorophyta Green algae
phylum Ochrophyta Brown algae

Temporal coverage

Data range: 
1990-7-07 - 1990-7-14; 1991-7-05 - 1990-7-12.
Notes: 

The sampling was performed in the summers of 1990 and 1991.

Collection data

Collection name: 
AZB | Marine macroalgae collection of Formigas Islets - Expedition SANTA MARIA and FORMIGAS/90; AZB | Marine macroalgae collection of Formigas Islets - Expedition FORMIGAS/91.
Collection identifier: 
de350d60-48c0-409c-a71f-0ae4df753fde; 2d4aad32-17f3-426e-92f1-3d8654fc781e.
Parent collection identifier: 
AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores; AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores.
Specimen preservation method: 
Air-dry, Dried and pressed; Liquid (Formalin; fixing agent Kew), Silica
Curatorial unit: 
AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores.

Usage rights

Use license: 
Creative Commons Public Domain Waiver (CC-Zero)

Data resources

Data package title: 
Marine algal (seaweed) flora of Formigas Islets, Azores
Number of data sets: 
1
Data set name: 
Marine algal (seaweed) flora of Formigas Islets, Azores
Data format: 
Darwin Core Archive
Data format version: 
version 1.7
Description: 

This data paper presents data from macroalgae surveys developed in Formigas Islets in 1990 and 1991 (Neto et al. 2020). The dataset submitted to GBIF is structured as a sample event dataset, with two tables: event (as core) and occurrences. The data in this sampling event resource have been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwCA), which is a standardised format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains eight records (eventID). The extension data table has 320 occurrences. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated in the IPT link. This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for downloading in the downloads section.

Column label Column description
Table of Sampling Events Table with sampling events data (beginning of table)
eventID Identifier of the event, unique for the dataset
country Country of the sampling site
countryCode Code of the country where the event occurred
stateProvince Name of the region
island Name of the island
municipality Name of the municipality
locality Name of the locality
locationID Identifier of the location
decimalLatitude The geographic latitude of the sampling site
decimalLongitude The geographic longitude of the sampling site
geodeticDatum The spatial reference system upon which the geographic coordinates are based
coordinateUncertaintyInMetres The horizontal distance (in metres) from the given decimalLatitude and decimalLongitude describing the smallest circle containing the whole of the Location
eventDate Time interval when the event occurred
year The year of the event
samplingProtocol Sampling method used during an event
locationRemarks Zonation level
minimumDepthInMetres The minimum depth in metres where the specimen was found
maximumDepthInMetres The maximum depth in metres where the specimen was found
eventRemarks Notes about the event
Table of Species Occurrence Table with species occurrence data (beginning of new table)
occurrenceID Identifier of the record, coded as a global unique identifier
institutionID The identifier for the institution having custody of the object or information referred to in the record
institutionCode The acronym of the institution having custody of the object or information referred to in the record
collectionID An identifier of the collection to which the record belongs
collectionCode The name of the collection from which the record was derived
datasetName The name identifying the dataset from which the record was derived
eventID Identifier of the event, unique for the dataset
kingdom Kingdom name
phylum Phylum name
class Class name
order Order name
family Family name
genus Genus name
specificEpithet The name of the first or species epithet of the scientificName
infraspecificEpithet The name of the lowest or terminal infraspecific epithet of the scientificName, excluding any rank designation
acceptedNameUsage The specimen accepted name, with authorship
previousIdentifications Previous name of the specimen, with authorship
scientificName The name without authorship applied on the first identification of the specimen
basisOfRecord The specific nature of the data record
habitat Description of the habitat where the specimen was found
recordedBy Person(s) responsible for sampling
catalogNumber Identifying code for a unique sample lot in a biological collection
identifiedBy Person(s) responsible for taxa identification
type The nature of the resource
preparations The preservation method used for the specimen
establishmentMeans The establishment status of the organism in the study region
occurrenceRemarks New record status assignment
licence Reference to the licence under which the record is published

Additional information

This paper is based on the 320 specimens of macroalgae collected from the Formigas Islets. Ninety taxa are listed (54 Rhodophyta, 14 Chlorophyta and 22 Ochrophyta) of which 70 are confirmed species and 20 taxa are identified only to genus level. The confirmed species (Tables 2, 3) include 39 Rhodophyta, 12 Chlorophyta and 19 Ochrophyta (Phaeophyceae) distributed by 22 orders (13 Rhodophyta, 3 Chlorophyta and 6 Ochrophyta) and 37 families (24 Rhodophyta, 6 Chlorophyta and 7 Ochrophyta). Sixty-one of the confirmed species are newly-recorded to the islets (37 Rhodophyta, 11 Chlorophyta and 13 Ochrophyta), as the invasive Asparagopsis armata (Fig. 8). Most species are native (58), including the Macaronesian endemisms Botryocladia macaronesica Afonso-Carrillo, Sobrino, Tittley & Neto and Laurencia viridis Gil-Rodríguez & Haroun. Four species represent introductions to the algal flora (the Rhodophyta Asparagopsis armata Harvey, Laurencia dendroidea J.Agardh, Neoizziella divaricata (C.K.Tseng) S.-M.Lin, S.-Y.Yang & Huisman and the Ochrophyta Hydroclathrus tilesii (Endlicher) Santiañez & M.J.Wynne) and six have an uncertain status.

Figure 8.  

Asparagopsis armata, a new record for the Formigas Islets (by the Island Aquatic Ecology Subgroup of cE3c-ABG).

Many species were only sporadically observed on the Islets, but seven were commonly found, namely: the Rhodophyta Asparagopsis armata Harvey, Cryptopleura ramosa (Hudson) L.Newton, Plocamium cartilagineum (Linnaeus) P.S.Dixon and Pterocladiella capillacea (S.G.Gmelin) Santelices & Hommersand; and the Ochrophyta Dictyota bartayresiana J.V.Lamouroux, Treptacantha abies-marina (S.G.Gmelin) Kützing and Zonaria tournefortii (J.V.Lamouroux) Montagne.

A mismatch regarding the GBIF backbone taxonomy of some of the macroalgae species names was identified as detailed in Suppl. material 1.

Acknowledgements

This research was mainly supported by the projects Expeditions “SANTA MARIA and FORMIGAS/90” and “FORMIGAS/91” and lately by the project “ACORES-01-0145-FEDER-000072” funded the Operational Programme Azores 2020 (85% ERDF and 15% regional funds). We are grateful to the Department of Biology of University of the Azores and to the Portuguese Navy for their logistics support during both Expeditions. Thanks are due to the participants who integrated the two Expeditions (Ana Cristina Costa, Bruno Brum, Carlos Rodrigues, Emanuel Pacheco, Heather Baldwin, Helena Sousa, Joana, João Brum, José Pedro Viegas, Luís Resendes, Pedro Cordeiro, Pedro Rodrigues, Philip Heemstra and Tomás Vieira). Afonso Prestes was supported by a PhD grant (M3.1.a/F/083/2015) awarded by Fundo Regional da Ciência e Tecnologia (FRCT).

Author contributions

  • AIN: Conceptualisation; Methodology; Investigation (field and laboratory work); Resources; Data Curation; Formal analysis and interpretation; Paper writing
  • ACLP: Investigation (laboratory work); Resources; Paper writing
  • JMNA: Investigation (fieldwork); Formal analysis and interpretation; Paper writing
  • RR: Resources; Data Curation
  • NVA: Maps elaboration; Paper writing
  • RMAN: Data Curation; Formal analysis and interpretation; Paper writing
  • IM: Data Curation; Formal analysis and interpretation; Paper writing

References

Supplementary material

Suppl. material 1: DP-FOR-id_14155_normalized-redz.csv 
Authors:  Ana I. Neto
Data type:  Macroalgae taxonomic mismatching
Brief description: 

GBIF does not have the more actualised nomenclature for some of the macroalgae species names. Therefore, the matching tools of its platform were applied to the species list, as required by Pensoft's data auditor, to identify the problematic taxonomic situations. The resulting file (DP-FOR-id_14155_normalized-redz.csv) is included here, since the names will not be immediately updated in the GBIF Taxonomic Backbone. A request was already sent to GBIF helpdesk to resolve this situation.