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Ceramium Roth (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta) from Venice lagoon (Adriatic Sea, Italy): Comparative studies of Mediterranean and Atlantic taxa

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The cosmopolitan genus Ceramium (Ceramiaceae, Rhodophyta) is a large and systematically complex group. The taxonomy of this genus remains in a chaotic state due to the high degree of morphological variation. Culture studies, suggesting a strong influence of environment on phenotype, and the use of molecular tools have recently questioned the validity of morphological features used in species recognition. Here we compare three Ceramium taxa from Venice lagoon with samples from northwest Europe using the plastid ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase gene (rbcL) and the rbcL-rbcS intergenic spacer combined with morphological observations. A strongly banded species, previously identified as member of a poorly understood and misnamed group, the Ceramium diaphanum complex sensu Feldmann-Mazoyer, is probably conspecific with British samples of Ceramium diaphanum sensu Harvey, for which no valid name has been identified up to now. We show thatCeramium polyceras (Kützing) Zanardini is a valid name for this species. A fully corticatedCeramium species morphologically resembling C. secundatum differs at the species level from Atlantic C. secundatum; a valid name for this entity is Ceramium derbesii Solier ex Kützing, described from Mediterranean France. A third species characterized by cortical spines, previously listed as Ceramium ciliatum var. robustum (J. Agardh) Mazoyer, is shown to be Ceramium nudiusculum (Kützing) Rabenhorst, originally described from Venice.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of Padova, via U. Bassi 58/B, 35131 Padova, Italy 2: School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University of Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, Northern Ireland, U.K. 3: Departamento de Botânica, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Laboratório Integrado de Ficologia, Bloco A, sala 99, sub-solo 2562-6331, Brazil 4: Department of Biology, University of Padova, via U. Bassi 58/B, 35131 Padova, Italy;, Email:

Publication date: 2011-12-01

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