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Helgoland Marine Research

Open Access

Possible sister groups and phylogenetic relationships among selected North Pacific and North Atlantic Rhodophyta

  • Sandra C. Lindstrom1, 2
Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen41:BF02366190


Although the cool temperate (boreal) waters of the N. Pacific and N. Atlantic share many similar if not identical species, there have been few studies to test the identity of these species pairs. Whereas such tests are important from a taxonomic perspective, they tell us little if anything about biogeographic relationships. A more useful approach is one employing phylogenetic systematics (cladistics). The interpretation of phylogenetic diagrams (cladograms) in terms of biogeographic area relationships is explained. It is argued that cladistic analyses of taxa occurring in the cool temperate waters of the northern oceans can provide biogeographic tracks, which in turn can suggest the origins and migrations of species and possibly even floras. A number of cool temperate taxa that appear particularly amenable to this approach are discussed, including genera in the Palmariaceae, Corallinaceae, Dumontiaceae, Solieriaceae, Petrocelidaceae, Ceramiaceae and Rhodomelaceae.