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Australian Systematic Botany Australian Systematic Botany Society
Taxonomy, biogeography and evolution of plants

Relationships of the Porphyra (Bangiales, Rhodophyta) flora of the Falkland Islands: a molecular survey using rbcL and nSSU sequence data

Judy E. S. Broom A E , Wendy A. Nelson B , Tracy J. Farr B , Louise E. Phillips C and Margaret Clayton D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand.

B National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Private Bag 14-901, Wellington 6241, New Zealand.

C Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine, Monash University, The Alfred, Commercial Rd, Melbourne, Vic. 3004, Australia.

D Australian Research Council, GPO Box 2702, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

E Corresponding author. Email:

Australian Systematic Botany 23(1) 27-37
Submitted: 24 July 2009  Accepted: 1 October 2009   Published: 17 February 2010


The phylogenetic relationships of Porphyra collected from the Falkland Islands have been examined using molecular data from two loci, the plastid rbcL gene and the nuclear nSSU gene, in conjunction with morphological observations. Nine species have been distinguished, belonging to four distinct lineages within the Bangiales, differing from one another by 16–137 substitutions in the rbcL gene. One species is closely related to P. amplissima, a north Atlantic taxon, three are resolved in a clade that includes several species from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, as well as P. umbilicalis, whereas four others are more closely related to Southern Ocean species, including P. cinnamomea, P. virididentata and several as yet unnamed taxa from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. Three species, one of which we identify as P. columbina, appear to be widely distributed in the Southern Ocean, with representatives on the Falkland Islands and on islands of the Australian and New Zealand subantarctic.


We acknowledge funding of a Shackleton Award which enabled the field work by MNC and LEP. We thank Lindsay Chadderton for collections from the Falkland Islands and Macquarie Island, Ken Ryan (Macquarie Island), Carol West, Pete McClelland, Don Neale, Alex Fergus (New Zealand subantarctic islands). The Falkland Island Conservation Department is thanked for their assistance (to MNC, LEP, and Lindsay Chadderton). Jenn Dalen (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa) is thanked for assistance with specimen registration. Erika MacKay (NIWA) is thanked for assistance with illustrations and maps. The New Zealand Foundation for Research Science and Technology is thanked for funding this research (CO1X0502).


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