Charophytes of Insular Newfoundland II: Chara evoluta and Chara canescens

Henry Mann, E. M. V. Nambudiri


The rare Newfoundland disjuncts Chara evoluta and Chara canescens are compared morphologically, ecologically, and geographically. Although very similar morphologically, they can readily be distinguished by their monoecious/dioecious nature, cortical cell features and coronula size. Ecological differences are more subtle and difficult to quantify. In Newfoundland the two species are restricted to coastal saline lagoons in the southwest region of the Island, with C. evoluta exhibiting an association with Chara aspera. The flora and fauna of these unique habitats are poorly documented even though it is known that they are associated with other rare species including the Piping Plover and the Banded Killifish. Consideration of some degree of protection as special habitats within the provincial ecological reserve strategy is suggested. An updated key to all species of charophytes known to inhabit Newfoundland and Labrador is included, and a brief overview of their ecological distributions is provided.


charophytes; Characeae; Chara evoluta; Chara canescens; Chara aspera; coastal lagoons; Newfoundland

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