Diversity of drift macroalgae in Aruba, Netherland Antilles, Caribbean Sea, including the rarely reported deep-water species Dasya puertoricensis and Cottoniella filamentosa (Delesseriaceae, Rhodophyta)

Abstract: Drifting and wrack seaweeds may originate from the detachment of natural populations and transport by currents until reaching the coast. When this is part of the natural renewal process of the seaweed beds, the drift is normally multispecific. Monospecific drifting biomass are, on the contrary, originating from excessive blooming of ephemeral and opportunistic species and generally are a consequence of anthropogenic impact. Drift and wrack algae were collected at four sites at Aruba for a taxonomic survey of the floating flora in the area. A total of 72 species were identified: 7 species of Cyanophyta, 38 species of Rhodophyta, 13 species of Phaeophyceae, 12 species of Chlorophyta, and two Angiosperms. Of these, forty species are new records for Aruba. With this study, the macroalgal flora of Aruba reaches 205 taxa. Dasya puertoricensis is reported for the first time outside its type locality. At Eagle Beach the drift was dominated by deep-water species. Keywords: Aruba; floating macroalgae; floristic study; new records

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