The seaweed flora of the Palm Beach area, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa and its biogeographical affinities

Bachelor Thesis

2000

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University of Cape Town

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The aim of this investigation is to study the seaweed flora of Palm Beach, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, and to determine its biogeographical affinities. A collection from the Palm Beach area produced a list of 130 taxa, comprising 13 Chlorophyta and 15 Phaeophyta 102 Rhodophyta. Included in this list are 56 species from neighbouring sites, Trafalgar and Port Edward. Data from existing databases were used to compare the seaweed flora of the Palm Beach area with that of other sites along the South African coastline. A PCA analysis was used to interpret the data and the Palm Beach area aligned with the south coast sites. The Palm Beach flora is primarily confined to the warmer South coast. The flora composition of the area is distinct from that of a typical transitional region. It is concluded that the biogeog raphical affinity of the macroalgal flora of the Palm Beach area is warm temperate.
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