New record for Halophila decipiens Ostenfeld in Kenya based on morphological and molecular evidence

McMahon, K.M., and Waycott, M. (2009) New record for Halophila decipiens Ostenfeld in Kenya based on morphological and molecular evidence. Aquatic Botany, 91 (4). pp. 318-320.

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Halophila decipiens Ostenfeld from the seagrass family Hydrocharitaceae is one of the most widely distributed seagrass species. It is found in the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic basin across both tropical and temperate water (Short et al., 2007). From an evolutionary perspective, its distribution is believed to be the result of relatively recent dispersal, as there is little genetic divergence between plants from each of the main ocean basins, Atlantic and Indo-Pacific (Les et al., 2003, Waycott et al., 2002; Uchimura et al., 2008). H. decipiens is most commonly found in tropical regions in deep water habitats, but also in shallower subtidal reef, sandy coastal and estuarine habitats forming both persistent and ephemeral meadows (Josselyn et al., 1986; Fonseca, 1989; Kenworthy et al., 1989; Kuo and Kirkman, 1995; Durako et al., 2003; Waycott et al., 2004). It is not found intertidally (Durako et al., 2003). The collated records of H. decipiens (Green and Short, 2003; Santamaria-Gallegos et al., 2006; Huijbers et al., 2008) show it is widely distributed throughout the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and the tropical Atlantic including Bermuda, extending south to Brazil. H. decipiens has been found in the Canary Islands, but there are no records of this species on the west coast of Africa. It is widely distributed throughout the central region of the Indo-West Pacific from Japan south into temperate Australian waters and extending across to Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti and Hawaii. On the Pacific coast of America, H. decipiens has recently been recorded in the Gulf of California (Santamaria-Gallegos et al., 2006), extending the range eastwards across the Pacific from Hawaii. In the western portion of the Indian Ocean, H. decipiens has been recorded in India, Sri Lanka, and the Chagos Archipelago and has been recorded in the Red Sea around Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (Green and Short, 2003). No records of H. decipiens have been made further south on the east coast of Africa until now. This short communication documents a new record for H. decipiens in Kenya, eastern Africa. The location and habitats are described and a molecular phylogeny presented showing the position of H. decipiens from Kenya in a global context.

Item ID: 10565
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0304-3770
Keywords: range extension; new record; seagrass; Kenya; Africa; marine science; population genetics; global change AAC
Date Deposited: 12 May 2010 23:26
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060310 Plant Systematics and Taxonomy @ 80%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 60%
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