The diversity and taxonomy of Ulva species (Ulvales, Chlorophyta) in the Bay of Fundy (New Brunswick, Canada)
University of New Brunswick
Species in the green algal genus Ulva have simple morphologies with few diagnostic features for species identification, and characters used for identification are often subject to high intraspecific variability and plasticity in response to environmental conditions. Routine Ulva species identification using morphological characteristics is therefore challenging even for seasoned phycologists. Molecular techniques (namely, DNA barcoding) are useful for species recognition when morphological investigation alone is inadequate, but molecular work must be accompanied by taxonomic study for accurate morphospecies name application. In this thesis I employed molecular techniques along with observations on biogeography, ecology, and morphology in order to assign meaningful morphospecies names to species of Ulva present in the Bay of Fundy (New Brunswick, Canada). Ten unique genetic groups were identified from the Bay of Fundy: eight genetic groups were assigned existing morphospecies names and the remaining two were assigned provisional species names pending publication.