Rare species Lemanea fluviatilis (L.) Agardh (Rhodophyta) from Israel
Barinova, Sophia; Lipkovsky, Esther; Nevo, Eviatar
The freshwater red alga Lemanea fluviatilis (L.) Ag. was found in both winter and summer algal communities of the Banias Stream in the piedmonts of Mount Hermon, Northern Israel. This species occurs in only one locality of the Upper Jordan River Basin, at 361 m above sea level. The Banias population grows on carbonate pebbles in the slow streaming, clear, cool-temperate alkaline waters of low salinity and insignificant organic pollution. As a result of a statistical comparison of morphological character states in the Banias population with selected European populations of the species it is concluded that the Israeli population of Lemanea fluviatilis, the southernmost (10°N) Old World locality, is characterized by the smallest and the more copiously branched thalli. The diversity analysis of the entire community and environmental conditions in the natural habitat characterize this rare species as inhabiting low richness communities of low alkaline, low mineralized unpolluted waters. The Israeli population of Lemanea fluviatilis is stenobiontic in respect to temperature, pH, substrate, water velocity, altitude, electrical conductivity, organic pollution, phosphorus and nitrate concentrations. It can be used as a macrophyte bio-indicator of water quality in the river monitoring system.