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Clarification of the nomenclature of the seagrass Halophila baillonii Ascherson

Creed, Joel C., Samper-Villarreal, Jimena
Aquatic botany 2019 v.154 pp. 42-44
Halophila, algae, biological nomenclature, botany, fungi, grasses, seagrasses, Atlantic Ocean, Brazil, Caribbean
Seagrasses in the Tropical Atlantic region include ten species, five of which are from the Halophila genus. One of these species, the clover grass Halophila baillonii, is currently considered as vulnerable by the IUCN (Red List), with a fragmented distribution in the Caribbean, Atlantic Ocean in Brazil and in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. There is confusion as to the correct nomenclature for this species with both H. baillonii and H baillonis treated as synonyms. Here, we clarify that given that the first description of the species was provided by Ascherson in 1875, following the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants based on the first valid publication with a diagnosis of the taxon, the correct name to be used for this species is Halophila baillonii Ascherson and should be referred to as such in the future.