Dictyota falklandica sp. nov. (Dictyotales, Phaeophyceae) from the Falkland Islands and southernmost South America

Frithjof C. Kuepper* (Corresponding Author), Akira F. Peters, Eleni Kytinou, Aldo O. Asensi, Christophe Vieira, Erasmo C. Macaya, Olivier De Clerck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Surveys of the seaweed flora of the Falkland Islands and of Tierra del Fuego revealed the presence of a new species of brown alga. Dictyota falklandica sp. nov. inhabits the shallow rocky infralittoral in sheltered localities and the lower intertidal in more exposed sites. Dictyota falklandica has a regular to irregular habit of dichotomously branched blades, forming erect thalli composed of a single-layered cortex and medulla, with margins in the apical parts dotted with dormant apical cells. Sporangia occur in irregular groups or longitudinal lines on the thallus surface. Molecular phylogenies based on chloroplast psbA and rbcL and mitochondrial cox1 sequences showed that the species from the Falkland Islands is a sister to a clade formed by D. korowai, recently described from New Zealand and D. kunthii known from both the Pacific coast of South America and New Zealand. Temperature tolerance experiments, showing mortality at 25º but survival at 20 °C, confirm the cold-temperate affinity of this taxon. Its relationship to other cold-temperate Southern Hemisphere species is discussed, with its closest relatives living in regions with sea surface temperatures of at least 7-10 °C higher.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-647
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Early online date3 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Special thanks to Paul Brickle (South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute) for hosting our expedition.

We thank the Shackleton Scholarship Fund (for travel grants to FCK and AFP to the Falkland Islands), the UK Natural Environment Research Council (program Oceans 2025 – WP 4.5 and grant NE/D521522/1), and the TOTAL Foundation (Project “Diversity of brown algae in the Eastern Mediterranean”). This work also received support from the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland pooling initiative. MASTS is funded by the Scottish Funding Council (grant reference HR09011) and contributing institutions. ECM acknowledges support by the Chilean Millennium Initiative (NC120030) grant. This work makes use of resources and facilities provided by Ghent University as part of the Belgian contribution to EMBRC-ERIC (FWO GOH3817N).


  • Cold-temperate
  • Dictyota
  • Falkland Islands
  • temperature tolerance
  • Tierra del Fuego
  • Dictyota;Falkland Islands
  • Temperature tolerance


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