Original paper

On the presence of Nostochopsis lobata Wood ex Bornet et Flahault in Spain: morphological, ecological and biogeographical aspects

Moreno, Jose Luis; Aboal, Marina; Monteagudo, Laura

Abstract

During a general biological assessment in rivers of southern Spain, a rare Cyanophyte Nostochopsis lobata Wood ex Bornet et Flahault was detected for the first time in this country. The species was collected in a temporary stream located in low altitude metamorphic mountains (Nava del Rey stream). Morphological comparisons, as well as an ecological and biogeographical review of the species are provided in this work. N. lobata from Spain shares similar morphology and habitat preferences to specimens previously reported from Europe (France, Italy and Portugal). However, when compared with specimens collected from non European sites, differences were detected. In terms of geographical distribution, this study revealed that N. lobata is a cosmopolitan species, distributed worldwide throughout tropical, temperate, arid and cold climate zones, with the exception of the polar regions. The presence of this species in cold and dry climates was most restricted. However, outside the tropical climate zone, the species shows a very sparse occurrence in space and time, being collected in the majority of cases only once per site. Additionally, in temperate climates, the colony size is rather small, the abundance is much lower and the colonies are very hard to detect in the field. Further research on ecological and genetic aspects is needed in order to obtain comprehensive knowledge of this variable species.

Keywords

blue-green algaebiogeographyenvironmental conditionstemporary streamtropical species