Synopsis top ↑
Despite a long history dating back 160 years, the marine flora of Peru
has remained only fragmentarily known. The collections reported upon
by various writers have largely been incidental ones, and until the
present decade have been made by botanists other than those who
The first specimens were collected by Humboldt and Bonpland in 1802 and were mainly studied by C. A. Agardh. The collections of d’Urville and Lesson on the French Expedition of La Coquille in 1823 were reported by Bory de Saint Vincent. Camille Montagne reported on collections from several French expeditions that touched Peru in the 1830’s, including those of Alcide d’Orbigny in 1833, those of Abel du Petit-Thouars on the Venus in 1837—38, and of Charles Gaudiciiaud—Beaupré on L’Herminie in 1831 and La Bonité in 1836. Miscellaneous collections were reported by SUIIR (1839), by Kutzing in various of his phycological works between 1843 and 1869, and by J. G. Agardii in his numerous papers from 1841 to 1901.
In 1886 Antonio Piccone listed a number of Peruvian algae in his account of the voyage of the Vettor Pisani. This was the last 19th century paper dealing with the area, and DE TONI’s Sylloge Algarum closed the century with the inclusion of about 65 species attributable to Peru. A great majority of these had been collected at only two localities frequented by expedition vessels, namely, the harbors of Callao and of Paita.
Twentieth century literature begins with a brief paper by Pilger (1903), but it was Marshall A. Howe who first produced a comprehensive account, the Marine Algae of Peru (1914). Howe had at his disposal ample new collections made by Robert Coker, many of them liquid-preserved, and from a number of diverse habitats in such areas as the coastal bays and the off-lying bird islands. Coker’s collections also included the first dredged materials. In all there were 95 species of Green, Brown and Red Algae. Howe assembled at the New York Botanical Garden all the available materials of Peruvian algae through cooperation of various European herbaria and monographed critically the entire known benthic algal flora of that time. There were 115 species, plus 8 members of the Cyanophyta. He included in his report a few specimens of the U. 8. Exploring Expedition (Wilkes Expedition) of 1839.
Shortly after Howe’s monumental review of Peruvian algae F. S. Collins (1915) discovered at the University of Maine a small collection made at the Chincha Islands in 1865. He added still a few more species to the Peruvian algal list in his report on these.
Subsequent to Collins’ short paper nothing is mentioned of Peruvian algae until Dawson (1941) revised several of the Rhodymenia species. TAYLOR in 1945 dealt indirectly with several species in relation to his studies of Galapagos Islands algae, but in 1947 provided an important account of several incidental algal collections from Peru obtained on Agassiz’ expedition of the Hassler in 1872, the Hancock Foundation’s Velcro III in 1935, independently by Waldo L. Schmitt in 1925—27, and by Angel Maldonado in 1942. From these he described several new Peruvian species and revised and extended the knowledge of others.
The most extensive collections of recent date are those of Hilde Juhl-Noodt who visited numerous localities from Mancora and Lobos de Tierra to Punta Pescadores during a survey for the Compania Administradora del Guano in Lima, January to May, 1956. Unfortunately, she has provided up to now only a brief annotated list of a small portion of her collections (Juhl-Noondt 1958).
Staff and students of the Museo de Historia Natural, Lima, have for a number of years been making marine algal collections in connection with class work and general botanical studies. Dr. Ramón Ferreyra, Dr. Emma Cerrate and Sr. Cesar Acleto have been particularly active in this respect, and a fairly sizeable alga] herbarium has accumulated at that institution. All of these specimens have kindly been provided by Director Ferreyra for the present study.
In January, 1962, and in April, 1963, the senior author made algal-collecting trips to northern Peru (Talara), and to central Peru (between Chancay and Pucusana), respectively. These collections form the principal base of the present report and are divided between the Herbarium of the Allan Hancock Foundation, Los Angeles, the Museo de Historia Natural, Lima, and the San Diego Natural History Museum.
An attempt has been made to review the entire literature to date with respect to the various Peruvian species and to provide such information as may be useful to investigators of the flora who follow us. In many cases we have quoted from earlier authors. We have redrawn or rephotographed many of the specimens so that a representative illustration is provided for nearly every species. The location of type specimens is given wherever known or suspected.
Distribution records are arranged from north to south for convenience.