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Research Article

Algae of Turkey from the Herbarium Forsskalii

Ergun Taskin and Poul M. Pedersen
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The naturalist, Pehr Forsskal collected samples (phanerogams and cryptogams) from Estac (France), Turkey, Egypt and Yemen between 1761-1763. The collected plants were published in Flora Aegyptiaco-Arabica in 1775 including a list of 16 algal species from Turkey. In the present work, algae of Turkey from the Herbarium Forsskalii were studied. Several herbarium sheets have been lost and therefore, we were unable to identify some of Forsskal`s collections. The aim of this research was to identify some of the remaining species and to annotate with regard to taxonomy and nomenclature.

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Ergun Taskin and Poul M. Pedersen , 2008. Algae of Turkey from the Herbarium Forsskalii. Research Journal of Botany, 3: 41-44.

DOI: 10.3923/rjb.2008.41.44



Forsskal (1732-1763) participated in the expedition to Egypt and Yemen supported by the King of Denmark. The expedition’s route was given by Hepper and Friis (1994). The expedition visited Marseille and collected plants from Estac and these plants were published in the Flora Aegyptiaco-Arabica as Florula Estaciensis (1775: I-XIV), they went to Malta and after Malta, they went to Turkey [order Symrna (Izmir), Tenedos (Bozcada), Imros (Gokceada), Natolia (Dardanelles), Tekirdag and Istanbul]. The plants collected from Turkey were published as Flora Constantinopolitana littoralis ad Dardanelles et insularum Tenedos, Imros, Rhodi (1775: XV-XXXVI). Then he went to Egypt and later to Yemen where he died in 1763. This publication was published by C. Niebuhr in 1775.

Forsskal’s specimens were later studied by Vahl, Mertens, C.A. Agardh, J.G. Agardh and Zeller (Børgesen, 1932). Børgesen (1932) examined the specimens in Forsskal’s herbarium and he considered that 40 species were including 4 Spongia. Forsskal (1775) recorded 56 (6 Estac, 16 Turkey, 9 Egypt and 25 Yemen) algal species totally.

Forsskal (1775) listed 481 species (phanerogams and cryptogams) from Turkey. The list included 16 species of algae which were collected mainly from Imros (Gokceada), Tenedos (Bozcada) and Constantinopoli (Istanbul) (Table 1). These algae are the first collections from Turkey. In the present research, algae of Turkey from the Herbarium Forsskalii were studied. Jania rubens (L.) J.V. Lamouroux and Polysiphonia cf. breviarticulata (C. Agardh) Zanardini were identified from the Herbarium Forsskalii for the first time.


Forsskal (1775) listed 16 species of algae and two Spongia (S. ramosa and S. vulgaris) from Turkey. The Herbarium Forsskalii contains only nine species: Ulva compressa Rubra Forsskal, Fucus nodosus Forsskal, Fucus uvifer Forsskal, Fucus divaricatus Forsskal, Fucus muscoides muscosus Forsskal, Conferva viridis Forsskal, Conferva geniculata Forsskal, Conferva littoralis Forsskal and Conferva corallina Forsskal.

Table 1: List of algae of Turkey from the Herbarium Forsskalii
*: These species have been lost in the herbarium, **: Forsskal’s name has not been transferred to a current name

Seven species have been lost in the Herbarium Forsskalii (Table 1).

Børgesen (1932) reported 6 species (Conferva littoralis Forsskal, Conferva dichotoma Forsskal, Fucus uvifer Forsskal, Fucus divaricatus Forsskal, Fucus viscidus Forsskal and Fucus muscoides Forsskal) from Forsskal’s algae from Turkey. Fucus uvifer Forsskal was transferred to Laurencia uvifera (Forsskal) by Børgesen (1932).

The name Halarachnion ligulatum (Woodward) Kützing was established on the basis of Ulva ligulata Woodward by Kützing (1843). Although the name Ulva compressa rubra Forsskal (1775: xxxvi) is older than Ulva ligulata Woodward (1797), Forsskal’s name can not be used (Greuter et al., 1994). Type locality (Yarmouth and Cromer, Norfolk, U.K.) and lectotype were given by Dixon and Irvine (1977) and they selected an unlocalised specimen as provisional lectotype, labelled from Mr Woodward. Ulva compressa rubra was collected from Istanbul (Turkey) by Forsskal in August 1761 (Fig. 1).

The name Fucus nodosus Forsskal is an older name than Abrotanifolia barbata Stackhouse (1809) (=Cystoseira barbata (Stackhouse) C. Agardh), but Forsskal’s name is a younger homonym of Fucus nodosus Linnaeus (1753) (=Ascophyllum nodosum (L.) Le Jolis) and therefore illegitimate.

Two sheets were indicated as Fucus divaricatus Forsskal in the Herbarium Forsskalii from Turkey (August 1761): Dictyota dichotoma (Hudson) J.V. Lamouroux and Solieria dura (Zanardini) F. Schmitz. The name Fucus divaricatus Forsskal can not be used (Børgesen, 1932).

Fucus viscidus Forsskal (=Liagora viscida (Forsskal) C. Agardh) the type locality was Istanbul (Turkey), but the type specimen has been lost in the Herbarium Forsskalii. Therefore, has been selected a neotype and neotype locality, Anse du Troc, Banyuls-sur-Mer, France (Guiry and Guiry, 2007).

There are two species in the sheet of Conferva viridis Forsskal: Cladophora cf. pellucida (Hudson) Kützing and Chaetomorpha linum (O.F. Müller) Kützing. Cladophora cf. pellucida was collected from Istanbul but Chaetomorpha linum was collected from Bozcaada (Tenedos).

Fig. 1: Ulva compressa rubra Forsskal (Locality: Istanbul, Turkey, August 1761)

The sheet of Conferva corallina Forsskal belongs to Ceramium diaphanum (Lightfoot) Roth. The name Ceramium diaphanum was established based on Conferva diaphana Lightfoot. Although Forsskal’s name is the older than Lightfoot’s name (1777) it is a homonym of Conferva corallina Murray (1774) (=Griffithsia corallinoides (Linnaeus) Trevisan), so the epithet of Forsskal cannot be used.

Conferva littoralis Forsskal (=Bonnemaisonia asparagoides (Woodward) C.Agardh) the binominal with Conferva littoralis Linnaeus (1753) (=Pylaiella littoralis (Linnaeus) Kjellman), thus the epithet of Forsskal is illigitimate.

Conferva dichotoma Forsskal, the binominal with Conferva dichotoma Linnaeus (1753) (=Vaucheria dichotoma (Linnaeus) Martius). Forsskal’s description agrees with Griffithsia (Silva, 2007).


Ulva intestinalisintestinal” Forsskal, Ulva flava Forsskal, Ulva viridis Forsskal, Fucus pavonicus Forsskal, Fucus botryoid Forsskal, Fucus viscidus Forsskal and Conferva dichotoma Forsskal have been lost.

There is no general knowledge on Forsskal’s collections from Turkey except a few species mentioned by Athanasiadis (1987) and repeated by Taşkın and Öztürk (2007). Jania rubens and Polysiphonia cf. breviarticulata have not previously been identified in Forsskal’s collections. They were identified on the sheets of Fucus muscoides. Laurencia uvifera was reported only from Turkey (Børgesen, 1932) and Yemen (Lipkin and Silva, 2002).


This study has been supported by Syntheses (DK-TAF 2332).

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