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Benthic algal and seagrass communities in BAA atoll, Maldives

Payri, C.E. and De Ramon N'Yeurt, Antoine and Mattio, L. (2012) Benthic algal and seagrass communities in BAA atoll, Maldives. Atoll Research Bulletin, 590 . pp. 31-66. ISSN 0077-5630

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The present survey was undertaken to provide the first census of the marine flora (macroalgae and seagrasses) of Baa atoll, one of the 26 Maldivian atolls, and to serve along with the macro-fauna biodiversity inventories for conservation purposes. Species collection and inventories have been conducted at 27 sites covering the widest selection of habitats recognized based on satellite images including islands shorelines, reef flats, faros, patch reefs, passes as well as shallow and deep outer reef slopes. A total of 405 specimens were collected and 176 species representing 10 Pheaophyceae, 58 Chlorophyta, 108 Rhodophyta and two seagrasses were identified. The lagoon patch reefs and the oceanic reef slopes were the most diverse geomorphological habitat types and displayed the highest species richness with 38 spp. All lagoon sites shown a similar richness compared to each other with an average species number of 26 spp, while the deep lagoon floor and the seagrass beds in oceanic-exposed reef flats were the less species-rich habitats. The most common species, occurring at all visited sites, were Tydemania expeditionis and Halimeda minima and the most species rich genera appeared to be Halimeda and Caulerpa. No community structure nor strongly supported species assemblages associated to geomorphological habitat types was found. Previous lists available for other Maldivian atolls listed 208 algal species. Sixty of these records were found in Baa Atoll while 113 of the species recorded in the present study represent new records for the Maldives bringing the total number of algal species to 321. The resulting species list shows that the Maldivian algal flora is typically tropical and most of the species belong to the Indo-Pacific biogeographic province. In this paper, we give a general description of the representative macrophyte communities of Baa atoll in relation to the geomorphology of reefs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Divisions: Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD)
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2013 22:31
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2018 22:23

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