Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

Halophilia ovalis in the tropical Atlantic Ocean


A species of seagrass in the genus Halophila was found growing in a shallow lagoon on the west shore of Antigua in the Caribbean West Indies. Genetic analysis showed the plants were Halophila ovalis. In addition, the samples had no genetic deviation (using nrDNA sequences) from Halophila johnsonii, considered to be an endemic and endangered species in Florida, USA. Morphological analysis demonstrated the Antiguan Halophila to be well within the range of plant characteristics previously described in the literature for H. ovalis, except for leaf width and number of seeds per fruit, and again, not different from H. johnsonii and very closely related to H. ovalis from the Indo-Pacific. Ours is the first report of H. ovalis in the Tropical Atlantic bioregion.

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Aquatic Botany



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