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First report of the brown alga Padina glabra (ochrophyta: Dictyotales) from the coast of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico.

Up to now the only species of the brown algal genus Padina that has been recognized as occurring on the Texas coast has been P. gymnospora (Kutz.) Sonder (Taylor 1960; Humm & Hilldebrand 1962; Earle 1969; Edwards 1970; Sorensen 1979, all as P. vickersiae). This species had been known as P. vickersiae Hoyt in Howe (Howe 1920), until Allender & Kraft (1983) recognized that the "Padina gymnospora" of various authors had been misinterpreted to be usually three cells in thickness, whereas the type (Zonaria gymnospora Kutz.) is four cells thick in mid frond and 6-8 cells thick closer to the base, in agreement with Kutzing's (1859) original depiction. Therefore, Padina vickersiae Hoyt is a later taxonomic synonym of P. gymnospora.

Some new species of red, green, and brown algae have been described from the Texas coast in the past few decades (Wynne & Edwards 1970; Wynne 1993; Scott et al. 2006) or newly reported species added to the marine algal flora (Baca et al. 1977; Kaldy 1977; De Yoe & Hockaday 2001; Strenth 2001; Kowalski et al. 2007). The primary source of new records has been from work carried out at the Flower Garden Coral Banks (National Marine Sanctuary) south of Galveston (Eiseman & Blair 1982; Gavio & Fredericq 2005). In the present study it was a matter of a more careful examination of Padina specimens from Texas in the University of Michigan Herbarium (MICH) that allowed for the recognition that two collections (one from Nueces County in south central Texas and one from Cameron County in southernmost Texas) were not the customary "Padina gymnospora", the common species on the Texas jetties, but a distinct species representing not only its first report from the coast of Texas but also from the Gulf of Mexico.

Padina glabra Gaillard 1966: 226

Type locality.--Pointe de Fann, Dakar, Senegal, West Africa. Holotype in the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris (PC).

Texas.--Port Aransas jetty, Mustang Island, Nueces County, 27 July 1969, coll. M. Wynne 2588 [MICH] (Fig. 1). Isla Blanca Beach State Park, jetty, South Padre Island, near Port Isabel, Cameron County, 24 March 1975, coll. M. Wynne 4293 [MICH].


Padina glabra was described from a site near Dakar, Senegal, and was characterized as the only species in the genus that lacked multicellular hairs that are typically arranged in concentric rows in other species of the genus (Gaillard 1966). The species was described as having non-lacerated blades attached by rhizoids, only 1.0-1.5 cm tall, 3 or 4 cell layers in thickness, rarely with calcification, and with non-indusiate tetrasporangial sori arranged in concentric zones. The species was subsequently reported from Mandapam, southern India, by Rengasamy & Anand (1986), who reported blades to be 4.0-5.0 cm tall, divided down the middle and bearing plantules. The important point is that their specimens lacked hairs. Wynne & De Clerck (1999) made the first report for the occurrence of this species from the western Atlantic, namely, several collections from the vicinity of St. Augustine, St. Johns Country, Florida, U.S.A. Wynne & De Clerck (1999) also pointed out that Dangeard (1952) had reported on several collections of a hairless Padina (that he called "Padina sp.") from the very same location where Gaillard (1966) was later to describe P. glabra. Gaillard, however, did not cite the Dangeard (1952) publication.

The Isla Blanca Beach State Park specimens, of which there were six, reached 8-12 cm in height, and the Port Aransas species, of which there were two, reached up to 14 cm in height. The plants from Isla Blanca are much branched axes ending distally in rounded blades. The plants from Port Aransas seem more mature and are divided into elongate, lacerate segments (Fig. 1). Blades in both collections are usually four cell layers in thickness. Some sections show local regions of three cell layers in thickness. Calcification is either lacking or just barely present on the blades. The base of the plant is a well developed stupose portion reaching to 1 cm in thickness and with a spreading attachment area. Sporangial and oogonial plants were observed. In both collections, however, plants bear propagula. These are also referred to as plantules and brood buds (Thivy 1945). Such propagula have been reported in this same species by Rengasamy & Anand (1986) in Indian material and by Wynne & De Clerck (1999) in Florida material. They appear to develop from sporangia at a very young stage or possibly in place of sporangia. Such propagula have been noted in other species of the genus: in P. pavonica (Linn.) Thivy by Bitter (1899), P. durvillaei Bory de St.-Vincent and P. distromtica Hauck by Thivy (1945), P. gymnospora (Kutz.) Sonder by Hoyt (1920) and P. antillarum (Kutz.) Piccone by Hauck (1887), Gaillard (1967), and Lawson & John (1977). Finally, in the Port Aransas plants the sporangia and propagula were observed to occur in two closely positioned rows on the inferior blade surface and in more irregularly arranged sori on the superior side of the blade. This pattern is essentially the same as the pattern present in P. antillarum, in which the inferior surface of the blade bears sporangia in two rows straddling each line of hairs (Jaasund 1976, as P. tetrastromatica; Tseng 1983, as P. tetrastromatica; Wynne 1998; Wynne & De Clerck 1999). In the Port Aransas plants identified as P. glabra, however, these parallel rows of sporangia/propagula do not have hairs present separating them. A similar arrangement of propagula lying in two closely aligned rows present in Florida material of P. glabra was depicted by Wynne & De Clerck (1999: fig. 12).


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MJW at:

Michael J. Wynne

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Herbarium University of Michigan, 3600 Varsity Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
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Author:Wynne, Michael J.
Publication:The Texas Journal of Science
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Aug 1, 2008
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