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Fabulous but Forgotten Fucoid Forests
  • Mads Thomsen,
  • Paul South,
  • Peter Staehr
Mads Thomsen
University of Canterbury

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Paul South
Cawthron Institute
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Peter Staehr
Aarhus Universitet
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1. Fucoid forests are areas dominated by marine brown seaweed in the taxonomic order Fucales that, like the better-known marine foundation species - corals, kelps, seagrasses, salt marshes, and mangroves - are threatened by anthropogenic stressors. 2. Fucoid forests are fabulous and important because they, like the better-known marine foundation species (i) span large areas, bioregions, and ecosystems, (ii) provide ecological functions such as high productivity and biodiversity, and (iii) support a variety of ecosystem services including habitat for commercial fishery species, food for humans and cultural values. 3. Fucoid forests are, based on a new citation analysis, forgotten worldwide, because they are described orders of magnitude less than the better-known marine foundation species, in ecology and marine biology textbooks, in Google Scholar and Scopus databases over scientific literature, and in recent reports and reviews about seaweed forests. 4. Fucoid forests would be less forgotten if more people acknowledge their biological importance and societal value more often and equate their importance to that of the better-known marine foundation species. Perhaps name-recognition would also improve if fucoids are unified under a non-taxonomic common name across teaching, research, management, and conservation, like the better-known marine foundation species. We agree with the marine scientists that have used ‘rockweed’ as such a common name to describe all fucoids, but other seaweed-experts disagree because they (a) do not agree fucoids are forgotten, (b) dislike common names or (c) argue rockweed should only describe fucoid species in the family Fucaceae.
05 Mar 2024Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
08 Mar 2024Assigned to Editor
08 Mar 2024Submission Checks Completed
14 Mar 2024Reviewer(s) Assigned
02 Apr 2024Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending