Spatial and Temporal Distributions of Benthic Marine Algae on the Continental Shelf of the Carolinas
Abstract:The deep water benthic flora of the Carolinas is surveyed extensively for the first time. A majority (106) of the 152 taxa identified to species or varieties are found to be Rhodophyta. All but two of these are found in Onslow Bay, North Carolina, while only 40 species are from Long Bay, South Carolina, where there is much less available substrate for the growth of benthic algae. The majority of species comprising the Carolina offshore flora are tropical and have centers of distribution in the Caribbean Sea. These algae are maintained in the Carolina latitudes by mild seasonal bottom temperatures created by the nearby Gulf Stream. Of all the species on the continental shelf, only three reach their southern distributional limit here. Distributions within the Carolinas and phenology are discussed.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 1976
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