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First freshwater coralline alga and the role of local features in a major biome transition
Žuljevic, A.; Kaleb, S.; Peña, V.; Despalatovic, M.; Cvitkovic, I.; De Clerck, O.; Le Gall, L.; Falace, A.; Vita, F.; Braga, J.C.; Antolić, B. (2016). First freshwater coralline alga and the role of local features in a major biome transition. NPG Scientific Reports 6(19642): 12 pp.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Corallinales [WoRMS]; Pneophyllum Kützing, 1843 [WoRMS]; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Žuljevic, A.
  • Kaleb, S.
  • Peña, V., more
  • Despalatovic, M.
  • Cvitkovic, I.
  • De Clerck, O., more
  • Le Gall, L.
  • Falace, A.
  • Vita, F.
  • Braga, J.C.
  • Antolić, B.

    Coralline red algae are significant components of sea bottom and up to now considered as exclusively marine species. Here we present the first coralline alga from a freshwater environment, found in the Cetina River (Adriatic Sea watershed). The alga is fully adapted to freshwater, as attested by reproductive structures, sporelings, and an inability to survive brackish conditions. Morphological and molecular phylogenetic analyses reveal the species belongs to Pneophyllum and is described as P. cetinaensis sp. nov. The marine-freshwater transition most probably occurred during the last glaciation. The brackish-water ancestor was preadapted to osmotic stress and rapid changes in water salinity and temperature. The particular characteristics of the karst Cetina River, such as hard water enriched with dissolved calcium carbonate and a pH similar to the marine environment, favoured colonization of the river by a marine species. The upstream advance and dispersal is facilitated by exceptionally pronounced zoochory by freshwater gastropods. Pneophyllum cetinaensis defies the paradigm of Corallinales as an exclusively marine group.

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