Bennett's Seaweed - Vanvoorstia bennettiana

Kingdom Plantae Bennett's Seaweed

Photo: Bennett’s Seaweed (Vanvoorstia bennettiana) photographed by Alan J.K. Millar ©. The copyrighted photograph presented here may be freely used for any non-commercial purpose, but please credit the respective photographer. For commercial use, please contact the photographer directly.

Phylum Rhodophyta
Class Florideophyceae
Order Ceramiales
Family Delesseriaceae
Genus Vanvoorstia
Species Vanvoorstia bennettiana
Authority (Harvey) Papenfuss, 1956
   
TSEW Status Extinct (EX), Year assessed: 2010
IUCN Status Extinct (EX), Year assessed: 2003
   
English Name Bennett's Seaweed
Dutch Name Bennetts Zeewier, Bennetts Roodalg
French Name Algue de Bennett
German Name Bennetts Meerespflanze, Bennetts Rotalge
Italian Name Alga Marina di Bennett
Portugues Name Alga de Bennett
Spanish Name Alga de Bennett
     
Synonyms

Claudea bennettiana Harvey, 1859; Sonderia bennettiana (Harvey) Müller ex J.Agardh, 1890

Taxonomy

The addition of the Bennett's Seaweed (Vanvoorstia bennettiana), a species of red algae (phylum Rhodophyta), to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2003 was (and still is) unfortunate because at that time it was considered the representative of an entire kingdom (Protista or Protoctista) that enters the IUCN Red List as Extinct. They were defined as eukaryotic organisms that are distinct from plants, animals and fungi. (Millar 2003; Baillie et al. 2004) Meanwhile, the IUCN Red List has placed this species in the kingdom Plantae or plants (Millar 2003; IUCN 2010).

The taxonomy of red algae is still in a state of flux and there is no concensus among scientists yet. If one defines the kingdom Plantae (plants) to mean the Archaeplastida, the red algae will be part of that kingdom; but if Plantae are defined more narrowly, to be the Viridiplantae, then the red algae might be considered their own kingdom or part of the kingdom Protista. (Hwan Su Yoon et al. 2006; Lee 2008; Saunders & Hommersand 2004; Wikipedia contributors 2010) The Sixth Extinction Website follows the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Version 2010.2) and AlgaeBase and places the red algae in the kingdom of Plantae (IUCN 2010; Guiry & Guiry 2010).

Characteristics

The Bennett's Seaweed consists of a flat, finely-meshed blade in which the tetrasporangial stichidia are also easily defined, and is distinguished from the other Vanvoorstia species by its smaller size and by the morphology of its reproductive structures. (Sanger 1999; Millar 2003)

Range & Habitat

The Bennett's Seaweed has only been collected from two Australian sites: Spectacle Island in Parramatta River (New South Wales) and the seabed between Point Piper and Shark Island in Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour). (Baillie et al. 2004)

History & Population The Bennett's Seaweed was first discovered as one individual plant from the seabed at the eastern end of Spectacle Island in Parramatta River (New South Wales, Australia), the type locality, sometime between the 1st and the 16th May in 1855. The second and last collection was in October 1886, when Dr Ramsay of the Australian Museum collected approximately 15 individual plants by dredging between Shark Island and Point Piper, Port Jackson, Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. It was was considered a common species. (Sanger 1999; Millar 2003)

In 1913, a scientific paper was published indicating the species was unable to be collected despite attempts by the curator of the algal collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. Subsequent curators have also failed to find the species. Since 1980, it has been a State government research priority to document the entire marine algal flora of NSW. However, no specimens have been seen or collected since the second collection in 1886, despite numerous attempts made by algologists during that period, and it has therefore been declared Extinct. (ISSC 1999; Millar 2003)

Extinction Causes

Habitat loss through human activities (trawling, dredging, infrastructure development, human settlement, tourism/recreation, water transportation, fisheries- related bycatch, and water pollution from agriculture, domestic, commercial/ industrial, oil, sedimentation and sewage) caused the extinction of this species. (Millar 2003; Baillie et al. 2004; Paxton in litt.)

Conservation Attemps

The Bennett's Seaweed is listed as a "Species Presumed Extinct" in section 4 of Schedule 4 of the Fisheries Management Act 1994, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. This species is also listed as "Extinct" under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, by the Commonwealth of Australia. (Baillie et al. 2004)

Museum Specimens

Do you know a museum specimen? Contact this website.

Relatives

The genus Vanvoorstia contains four species. Besides the extinct Bennet's Seaweed there are also three living species. Vanvoorstia spectabilis and Vanvoorstia coccinea are common tropical species living in the Indo-Pacific, including the Great Barrier Reef. Vanvoorstia spectabilis is also recorded from Lord Howe Island. The fourth is a new species he described from East Africa which is probably Critically Endangered: Vanvoorstia incipiens (De Clerck, Wynne & Coppejans 1999). It occurs massively in a single bay along the east coast of Zanzibar. (Millar 2003)

Links

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Vanvoorstia bennettiana

DEH Species Profiles - Vanvoorstia bennettiana - Bennett's Seaweed

Bennetts Seaweed - NSW DPI - Fisheries

References

Agardh, J.A. (1890). Till Algernes Systematik, Nya bidrag (Sjette afdelningen). XI. Florideae. Lunds Universitet Arsskrift 26: 125 pp., 3 plates.

Baillie, J.E.M., Hilton-Taylor, C. and Stuart, S.N. (eds) (2004). 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. A Global Species Assessment. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. [Available via http://data.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/html/Red%20List%202004/completed/cover.html].

De Clerck, O., M. J. Wynne, & E. Coppejans. (1999). Vanvoorstia incipiens sp. nov. (Delesseriaceae, Rhodophyta) from Tanzania, East Africa. Phycologia 38: 394-400.

Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. (2010). AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. http://www.algaebase.org; searched on 17 August 2010.

Harvey, W.H. (1859). Phycologia Australica. Volume 2, xi + pls 61-120. Lovel Reeve, London.

Hwan Su Yoon, K. M. Müller, R. G. Sheath, F. D. Ott & D. Bhattacharya (2006). "Defining the major lineages of red algae (Rhodophyta)" (PDF). Journal of Phycology 42: 482–492. doi:10The taxonomy of red algae is still in a state of flux and there is no concensus among scientists yet. If one defines the kingdom Plantae (plants) to mean the Archaeplastida, the red algae will be part of that kingdom; but if Plantae are defined more narrowly, to be the Viridiplantae, then the red algae might be considered their own kingdom or part of the kingdom Protista. (Hwan Su Yoon et al. 2006; Lee 2008; Saunders & Hommersand 2004; Wikipedia contributors 2010) The Sixth Extinction Website follows the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and AlgaeBase and places the red algae in the kingdom of Plantae (IUCN 2010; Guiry & Guiry 2010)..1111/j.1529-8817.2006.00210.x.

IUCN (2010). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 15 August 2010.

Lee, R.E. (2008). Phycology, 4th edition. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521638838.

Millar, A.J.K. (2003). Vanvoorstia bennettiana. In: IUCN (2010). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 15 August 2010.

Papenfuss, G.F. (1956). On the nomenclature of some Delesseriaceae. Taxon 5: 158-162.

Paxton, J.R. (In litt.) Evaluation of the assessment of the conservation status of the red alga Vanvoorstia bennettiana (recent common name Bennetts seaweed) as Extinct, using IUCN categories and criteria, by A.J.K. Millar.

Sanger, A. (1999). NSW Fisheries Scientific Committee (1999) Recommendation: Vanvoorstia bennettiana - (Bennetts Seaweed). Ref. No. FR7. File No. FSC 99/16.

Saunders, G.W. & M. H. Hommersand (2004). Assessing red algal supraordinal diversity and taxonomy in the context of contemporary systematic data. American Journal of Botany 91: 1494–1507. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.10.1494.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC). (1999). Vanvoorstia bennettiana (Bennetts Seaweed), a marine red alga. Advice to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) on a public nomination for a species listing on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Wikipedia contributors (2010), 'Red algae', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 August 2010, 20:16 UTC, <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Red_algae&oldid=379098825> [accessed 15 August 2010].

   
Citation: Maas, P.H.J. (2010).Bennett's Seaweed - Vanvoorstia bennettiana. In: TSEW (). The Sixth Extinction Website. <http://www.petermaas.nl/extinct>. Downloaded on .
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Updated: 17 August 2010

 

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