A new species of Lemmermanniella (Cyanobacteria) from the Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil


Braz. J. Bot.




The Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest is a highly heterogeneous ecosystem comprising large numbers of tropical and subtropical habitats favorable to the development of cyanobacteria. Studies on cyanobacteria in this ecosystem are still rare, however, especially those involving unicellular and colonial types. The high biodiversity and endemism of this biome has been extremely impacted and fragmented, and less than 10% of its original vegetation cover remains today. We describe here a new species of a colonial cyanobacteria, Lemmermanniella terrestris, found on dry soils in a subtropical region of the Atlantic Rainforest in the municipality of Cananéia in southern São Paulo State, Brazil. This new taxon demonstrated all of the diacritical features of the genus Lemmermanniella but, unlike the other species of the genus, it was growing on the soil surface and not in an aquatic environment. A set of morphological features, including colonies composed of subcolonies, and cell dimensions, shapes and contents distinguish it from other species of the genus. Considering that species of Lemmermanniella are found in very distinct habitats (such as thermal and brackish waters) and that they maintain the same life cycle described for the genus in all of those environments, the morphological structures of the colonies can be used as reliable markers for identifying the genus, and its species differ primarily in relation to the habitats they occupy.

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