Posidonia coriacea


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Posidonia coriacea
Species Authority: Cambridge & J.Kuo
Common Name(s):
English Species code: Pc
Posidonia robertsoniae J.Kuo & Cambridge
Taxonomic Notes: This species is part of the P. ostenfeldii complex and is therefore treated as a separate species (Kuo and Cambridge 1984). This species is currently undergoing taxonomic review.

Campey et al. (2000) suggested that P. robertsoniae is synonymous with P. coriacea and P. coriacea has priority as a species name. Based on their study there is no justification for supporting P. coriacea and P. robertsoniae as separate species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-10-23
Assessor(s): Short, F.T., Carruthers, T.J.R., Waycott, M., Kendrick, G.A., Fourqurean, J.W., Callabine, A., Kenworthy, W.J. & Dennison, W.C.
Reviewer(s): Livingstone, S., Harwell, H. & Carpenter, K.E.
This species is widespread in western and southern Australia and has some localized threats. However the population overall is stable. This species is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Posidonia coriacea is endemic to western and southern Australia, ranging from the tip of North West Cape, Western Australia, to Beachport, South Australia.
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There are local examples of declines due to human disturbance for P. coriacea, however the population overall is stable.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The P. ostenfeldii complex typically form patchy meadows with mixed species in open ocean or rough water sublittoral habitats (Cambridge 1975). They are characterised by their long, thick, leathery leaves and long leaf sheaths that are deeply buried. These characters appear to be associated with strong wave movement and mobile sand substratum typical of the environments in which they are found ( Kuo and Cambridge 1984).

Campey et al. (2000)  implies that vegetative morphological characters, upon which five species of the P. ostenfeldii complex were erected, are not effective for the identification of species from multiple samples from any one location.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main area of disturbance is due to sand mining offshore from south of Perth. Other localized threats may include coastal development by industry, pipelines, communication cables, mining and dredging. Pollution from eutrophication causing seagrass overgrowth and smothering of epiphytes, aquaculture, farming and direct physical damage by recreational and commercial boating activities (Green and Short 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is recommended that the whole P. ostenfeldii complex be reanalyzed and that further morphological and genetic work be carried out (Campey et al. 2000).

Bibliography [top]

Cambridge, M.L. 1975. Seagrasses of south-western Australia with special reference to the ecology of Posidonia australis Hook f. in a polluted environment. Aquatic Botany 1: 149-161.

Cambridge, M.L. and Kuo, J. 1979. Two new species of seagrasses from Australia, Posidonia sinuosa and P. angustifolia (Posidoniaceae). Aquatic Botany 6: 307-328.

Campey, M.L., Waycott, M. and Kendrick, G.A. 2000. Re-evaluating species boundaries among members of the Posidonia ostenfeldii species complex (Posidoniaceae) - morphological and genetic variation. Aquatic Botany 66(1): 41-56.

Green, E.P and Short, F.T. 2003. World Atlas of Seagrasses. University of California Press, Berkeley.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

Kuo, J. and Cambridge, M.L. 1984. A taxonomic study of the Posidonia ostenfeldii complex (Posidoniaceae) with descriptions of four new Australian seagrasses. Aquatic Botany 20: 267-95.

Citation: Short, F.T., Carruthers, T.J.R., Waycott, M., Kendrick, G.A., Fourqurean, J.W., Callabine, A., Kenworthy, W.J. & Dennison, W.C. 2010. Posidonia coriacea. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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