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Diversity, distribution and taxonomy of Malaysian marine algae, Halimeda (Halimedaceae, Chlorophyta)

NUR FARAH AIN ZAINEE, AHMAD ISMAIL, MOHAMED EFFENDI TAIP, NAZLINA IBRAHIM, ASMIDA ISMAIL

Abstract


The taxonomy of Halimeda in Malaysia is rarely studied due to the complexity
of identification resulting from the high morphological variation within individual species. Currently the diversity and distribution of Halimeda is studied. Halimeda and seawater were collected, and the specimens were preserved and identified, include the preparation of temporary slides and decalcification of the calcium layer using diluted hydrochloric acid. The specimens were processed and deposited in the Algae Herbarium at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. In the present study, 876 specimens of Halimeda were collected and ten species were identified as Halimeda cuneata, H. discoidea, H. macroloba, H. macrophysa, H. opuntia, H. simulans, H. stuposa, H. taenicola, H. tuna and H. velasquezii. Of these, five new species were recorded in Malaysia. The most abundant species with the widest distribution throughout the coastal areas of Malaysia was H. opuntia. The widest distributions were observed in Pulau Balak-Balak, Sabah and Pulau Langkawi, Kedah, where all species were present. Ten species were identified, and the morphological characteristics were fully described. These results may further assist with the differentiation and identification of species in future research.


Keywords


calcareous algae, green algae, morphology, tropical.

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