Morphology and ecology of the planktonic diatom Palmerina hardmaniana (Greville) Hasle in southern Brazil


  • Marinês Garcia Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Departamento de Botânica
  • Clarisse Odebrecht Universidade Federal do Rio Grande


phytoplankton, seasonal variation, biogeography, ultra-structure


The diatom Palmerina hardmaniana (Greville) Hasle presents a wide geographical distribution in neritic tropical and subtropical regions. In the present work we analyzed plankton samples collected monthly between 1995 and 2007 at the surf zone of Cassino Beach, RS (32° 12' S and 52° 10' W), and in winter 2005 and summer 2007 at the continental shelf and slope in southern Brazil, Santa Marta Grande Cape, SC and Albardão-Chuí, RS regions (28° 23'-33° 07' S and 48° 41'-52° 26' W). We present the detailed morphological description of P. hardmaniana, and the first study including electron scanning microscope observations for material from the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. The morphometric data confirm the identity of the species in all its ultra-structural details. Palmerina hardmaniana was only observed in summer-autumn months with low cell density (< 500 cells.L-1) at both Cassino Beach surf zone and coastal shelf stations. The warm water temperature (18-29 °C) indicates the most probable origin of its inoculum are tropical/subtropical regions. Salinities of 23-36 and the relatively high silicate content indicate the importance of the terrestrial discharge during occasions when P. hardmaniana was observed, probably with influence on the nutrient availability. We emphasize that the species was not cited previously for Argentinean and Uruguayan waters and suggest that the southern Brazilian region is close to the southern geographical distribution limit of Palmerina hardmaniana in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean.




How to Cite

Garcia, M., & Odebrecht, C. (2008). Morphology and ecology of the planktonic diatom Palmerina hardmaniana (Greville) Hasle in southern Brazil. Biota Neotropica, 8(2). Retrieved from //