Date of Award

Winter 2014

Project Type


Program or Major

Plant Biology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Christopher D Neefus

Second Advisor

Juliet Brodie

Third Advisor

Arthur C Mathieson


Foliose Bangiales species have a long history of study in the North Atlantic, but regions, especially in the northern parts, need more attention. Based on both new collections and herbarium material from Iceland, the Faroe Islands, West Greenland, UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Northwest Atlantic coast (from Newfoundland to Florida) the aim was to document diversity and distribution of foliose Bangiales species in the North Atlantic and to make floristic comparisons between the geographical areas. Species Identification was based on DNA sequences using the mitochondrial cox1, chloroplast rbcL and 3' rbcL + 5' rbcL-S markers. The North Atlantic species were analysed in a larger phylogenetic context based on rbcL sequences, with special emphasis on the relationship between the North Atlantic and North Pacific foliose Bangiales. Using the mitochondrial cox2-3 and nuclear ITS1 spacers a preliminary phylogeographic study was carried out for Wildemania amplissima that is represented in both the North Atlantic and North Pacific. Four foliose Bangiales genera and 26 species were documented from the North Atlantic, and including both recent collections and herbarium material, the work documented both present and historic foliose Bangiales species diversity and geographic distribution, and demonstrated the value of well-preserved historic collections. Eleven foliose Bangiales species were reported from Iceland and the Faroe Islands, and seven species were reported from West Greenland. The Northwest- and Northeast Atlantic foliose Bangiales floras were equally diverse but with some differences in species composition. Pyropia njordii sp. nov. was described from the Faroe Islands, with distribution records from Iceland, West Greenland, Northeast Canada and Northeast America, and Wildemania abyssicola comb. nov. was documented from from Iceland and northern Norway. Pyropia thulaea was reported for the first time from the Northwest Atlantic coast, and Py. peggicovensis and "Py. novae-angliae" were reported for the first time in the Northeast Atlantic. A close phylogenetic relationship was observed between the North Atlantic and North Pacific foliose Bangiales, especially between the West Greenland flora and the North Pacific flora. The ITS1 spacer was used in resolving phylogeogaphic patterns in W. amplisima, with 16 haplotypes recovered, and a much higher haplotype diversity recovered in the North Atlantic than in the North Pacific.