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Spatial variation in subtidal plant communities around the Socotra Archipelago and their biogeographic affinities within the Indian Ocean
Schils, T.; Coppejans, E. (2003). Spatial variation in subtidal plant communities around the Socotra Archipelago and their biogeographic affinities within the Indian Ocean. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 251: 103-114. dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps251103
In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. Inter-Research: Oldendorf. ISSN 0171-8630, more
Peer reviewed article

Also published as
  • Schils, T.; Coppejans, E. (2003). Spatial variation in subtidal plant communities around the Socotra Archipelago and their biogeographic affinities within the Indian Ocean, in: Schils, T. (2003). Mariene plantengemeenschappen in opwellingsgebieden van de Arabische Zee: een taxonomische, ecologische en biogeografische case study naar de mariene flora van de Socotra Archipel (Jemen) en het eiland Masirah (Oman) = Marine plant communities of upwelling areas within the Arabian Sea: a taxonomic, ecological and biogeographic case study on the marine flora of the Socotra archipelago (Yemen) and Masirah Island (Oman). : pp. 103-114, more
  • Schils, T.; Coppejans, E. (2005). Spatial variation in subtidal plant communities around the Socotra Archipelago and their biogeographic affinities within the Indian Ocean, in: (2005). VLIZ Coll. Rep. 33-34(2003-2004). VLIZ Collected Reprints: Marine and Coastal Research in Flanders, 33-34: pp. chapter 38, more

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Keywords
Author keywords
    algae; Arabian Sea; biogeography; Indian Ocean; seagrasses; seaweeds; socotra

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Abstract
    The subtidal plant communities of the Socotra Archipelago were studied by means of quadrat sampling. Ordination and statistical analyses revealed 6 distinct clusters corresponding to the geographic location and the physico-chemical factors. The north coast of Socotra Island supports algae commonly found in the Indian Ocean, with an intermediate species richness and alpha diversity for the archipelago. This entity includes 2 species-poor subentities: the seagrass beds and the coral-dominated communities. The transition zone is an overlapping area between Socotra’s north and south coast where the greatest similarity in community structure with the upwelling flora of the south coast is found, owing to similar environmental conditions. This zone is subject to intense current patterns favouring a pronounced diversity of red algae. The south coast features the highest number of recorded species and a lower affinity with the (sub-)tropical Indian Ocean flora, and is marked by disjunctly distributed species. The plant communities of the outer islands comprise a mixture of the other entities due to the drastically changing seasonal environmental conditions in a limited coastal area. The intermediate character of this entity, i.e. ongoing competition amongst biota without reaching a climax in the vegetation succession, is reflected in the vegetation analyses and the biogeographic comparison.

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