Vertical distribution of brown and red macroalgae along the central Western Antarctic Peninsula Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Fleshy macroalgae dominate the hard bottom, shallow waters along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Although there are numerous reports on their ecology, geographic distribution, and to a lesser extent, vertical (depth) distribution in the northern portions of the WAP, much less is known farther south along the central portion of the WAP. Here we provide the first report of the vertical distributions of brown and red fleshy macroalgae in this region based on scuba-derived collections at 14 study sites between southern Anvers Island (64.8S, 64.4W) in the north and central Marguerite Bay (68.7S, 67.5W) in the south. Although several overstory brown macroalgal species that can be common along the northern WAP including Desmarestia anceps and Cystosphaera jacquinotii are mostly absent from the central WAP, the vertical distributions of the brown macroalgae Desmarestia menziesii and Himantothallus grandifolius are similar to the northern WAP even though their percent cover is much lower. Likewise, the vertical distribution of the 14 most widespread red macroalgae, where they occur, mirrored those known from the northern part of the WAP even though macroalgal cover, biomass, and total species richness declined markedly to the south across this region due to increasing sea ice concentrations.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Amsler, C. D., Amsler, M. O., Heiser, S., McClintock, J. B., Iken, K., Galloway, A., & Klein, A. G.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Amsler, Charles D||Amsler, Margaret O||Heiser, Sabrina||McClintock, James B||Iken, Katrin||Galloway, Aaron WE||Klein, Andrew G

publication date

  • 2023