FCE LTER Journal Articles


Taxonomy and distribution of taxa in the genus Gomphonema from the Florida Everglades, U.S.A.


Located at a subtropical latitude, the expansive Florida Everglades contains a mixture of tropical and temperate diatom taxa, as well as a unique flora adapted to the calcareous, often excessively hot, seasonally flooded wetland conditions. This flora has been poorly documented taxonomically, although diatoms are recognized as important indicators of environmental change in this threatened ecosystem. Gomphonema is a dominant genus in the freshwater marsh, and is represented by highly variable species complexes, including Gomphonema gracile Ehrenberg, Gomphonema intricatum var. vibrio Ehrenberg sensu Fricke, Gomphonema vibrioides Reichardt & Lange-Bertalot and Gomphonema parvulum (Kützing) Grunow. These taxa have been shown to exhibit wide morphological variation in other regions, resulting in considerable nomenclatural confusion. We collected Gomphonema from 237 sites distributed throughout the freshwater Everglades and used qualitative and quantitative morphological data to identify 20 distinguishable populations. Taxonomie assignments were based on descriptions and/or observations of type material of relevant taxa when possible, but deviations from original morphological range descriptions were common. We then compared morphological variation in Everglades Gomphonema taxa to that reported for the same taxa in other regions and suggest revisions of taxonomie concepts when necessary.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Cooperative Agreements #DBI-0620409 and #DEB-9910514. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

This document is currently not available here.