Historical information of marine organisms needs to be incorporated to develop effective management plans and conservation targets. In the Mediterranean Sea most species of brown seaweeds of the order Fucales are threatened or endangered and need protection.

This study merged data on historical and current records to create the first reference dataset on past and present distributions of Fucales from shallow and sheltered shores of Catalonia (NW Mediterranean Sea).

The results report that most Cystoseira sensu lato* populations were found in the northern shores, where the most suitable environments exist. The authors highlight that populations of most of the taxa have suffered an important regression, two taxa have apparently become locally extinct, while a new previously unreported taxon has been found.

It is concluded that this regional-scale study makes available a solid, comprehensive baseline for future monitoring and application of conservation measures for the several threatened species of Fucales.


Mariani et al. (2019) Past and present of Fucales from shallow and sheltered shores in Catalonia. Regional Studies in Marine Science 32:100824.

*The genus Cystoseira is considered polyphyletic and encompasses three major clades. Because of their morphological and genetic differences, the three clades have been recently assigned to three different genera: Carpodesmia, Cystoseira and Treptacantha (Orellana et al. 2019).