Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia
Print version ISSN 0102-695X
AMADO-FILHO, Gilberto M. and PEREIRA-FILHO, Guilherme H.. Rhodolith beds in Brazil: a new potential habitat for marine bioprospection. Rev. bras. farmacogn. [online]. 2012, vol.22, n.4, pp.782-788. Epub May 24, 2012. ISSN 0102-695X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-695X2012005000066.
Rhodoliths are the free-living forms of a number of nongeniculate coralline algae. Rhodolith beds are a common feature of subtidal environments and have been recognized as important carbonate producers and paleoenvironmental indicators, as well as recognized as habitat-forming species. The rhodolith structure provides a hard three-dimensional substrate serving as microhabitat for a wide range of biodiversity, including commercially importance species. The largest known latitudinal occurrence range of rhodolith beds ais on the Brazilian coastal shelf from 2°N to 25°S. Despite their importance for the Brazilian benthic communities, only in the last decade sampling efforts allowed a more comprehensive understanding of the beds' distribution, their structure and associated communities, as well as data concerning the influence of environmental factors on rhodolith bed structure and dynamics. In this work, we review the available information on the biodiversity associated with the recently described Brazilian rhodolith beds of the continental shelf and oceanic islands, focusing on the associated organisms with potential for bioprospection research.
Keywords : rhodolith beds; bioprospection; algae; benthic communities.