Unraveling algae and cyanobacteria biodiversity in bromeliad phytotelmata in different vegetation formations in Bahia State, Northeastern Brazil
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Knowledge of algal and cyanobacterial diversity of phytotelmata remains poorly-known, especially for bromeliads from different vegetation formations. We investigated the microalgae communities of four species of tank bromeliads from different vegetation formations in Bahia State, Northeast Brazil, highlighting the composition, richness and diversity of taxa. Sampling of water stored in bromeliads was carried out quarterly between 2014 and 2016, and abiotic variables and morphometric attributes of bromeliads were measured. A total of 89 taxa of algae and cyanobacteria were recorded for the four bromeliad species studied. The microalgae communities of the phytotelmata varied among vegetation formations, with one tank bromeliad, Alcantarea nahoumii, with more complex architecture (higher number of leaves and thus more cavities), being distinguished by its high species richness (73 taxa). The bromeliads exhibited little similarity in species composition, with only one species (Phacus polytrophos) occurring in all four species. Throughout the entire sampling period, classes with higher species richness, especially due to A. nahoumii, were Zygnematophyceae, Cyanophyceae and Chlorophyceae, which accounted for about 80 % of all species inventoried. Our results contribute to the knowledge of microalga communities of bromeliad phytotelmata in Brazil with regard to species richness and composition, as well as significant environmental characteristics.