Olivier De Clerck

Olivier De Clerck
Ghent University | UGhent · Department of Biology

About

338
Publications
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9,330
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October 1994 - present
Ghent University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (338)
Article
Full-text available
The green seaweed Ulva is important from ecological and economic perspectives, but the identification of species is often problematic. Here we assessed and discussed different perspectives to establish a stable taxonomic framework for Ulva, which will benefit both ecological and applied research. We evaluated (1) the performance of commonly used DN...
Article
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We investigated the globally distributed red algal genus Pterocladiella, comprising 24 described species, many of which are economically important sources of agar and agarose. We used DNA-based species delimitation approaches, phylogenetic, and historical biogeographical analyses to uncover cryptic diversity and infer the drivers of biogeographic p...
Article
Full-text available
The green seaweed Ulva is a model system to study seaweed‐bacteria interactions, but the impact of environmental drivers on the dynamics of these interactions is little understood. In this study, we investigated the stability and variability of the seaweed‐associated bacteria across the Atlantic‐Baltic Sea salinity gradient. We characterised the ba...
Article
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Kelp forests are declining in many regions globally with climatic perturbations causing shifts to alternate communities and significant ecological and economic loss. Range edge populations are often at most risk and are often only sustained through localised areas of upwelling or on deeper reefs. Here we document the loss of kelp forests (Ecklonia...
Article
Brown algae are a group of multicellular, heterokont algae that have convergently evolved developmental complexity that rivals that of embryophytes, animals or fungi. Early in development, brown algal zygotes establish a basal and an apical pole, which will become respectively the basal system (holdfast) and the apical system (thallus) of the adult...
Article
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Many western countries show an increased interest in using algae in several sectors such as human food and animal feed, nutraceuticals, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, agriculture, or bioenergy. Biomass of marine origin, and especially seaweed, is a key element for blue growth and is expected to contribute to the development of the growing European...
Article
Aim Marine forests of brown macroalgae create essential habitats for coastal species and support invaluable ecological services. Here, we provide the first global analysis of species richness and endemicity of both the kelp and fucoid biomes. Location Global. Time period Contemporary. Major taxa studied Marine forests of brown macroalgae, fo...
Article
The taxonomy of the genera Grateloupia, Phyllymenia and Prionitis has been revised several times but remains controversial. The female reproductive structure in combination with phylogenetic reconstructions are mostly used to define the genera. However, the architecture and behavior of the auxiliary cell ampullae before and after diploidization are...
Article
The brown algal genus Lobophora (Dictyotales, Phaeophyceae) is an important ecological component of tropical marine systems. Although still scantily sampled, 35 species of Lobophora were discovered previously from the western Indian Ocean. This study updates previous diversity estimates by incorporating recent collections from Madagascar, Mozambiqu...
Article
Considered as holobiont systems, marine macroalgae and their microbiota constitute functional units displaying a large diversity of interactions. Main factors driving the assembly of epiphytic microbiota, and subsequent interactions with the host, are often associated to environmental differences but also to host taxonomy displaying specific chemic...
Article
Microbes are vitally important for seaweed growth, functioning and reproduction, and are likely to have a big impact on aquaculture. Algae-associated bacteria, however, remain mostly unmonitored in aquaculture. Here, we studied the microbiomes of Ulva australis and Ulva lacinulata, three natural populations and an aquaculture set-up, based on full-...
Article
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Marine biodiversity underpins ecosystem health and societal well-being. Preservation of biodiversity hotspots is a global challenge. Molecular tools, like DNA barcoding and metabarcoding, hold great potential for biodiversity monitoring, possibly outperforming more traditional taxonomic methods. However, metabarcoding-based biodiversity assessments...
Article
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Algal-associated bacteria are fundamental to the ecological success of marine green macroalgae such as Caulerpa. The resistance and resilience of algal-associated mi-crobiota to environmental stress can promote algal health and genetic adaptation to changing environments. The composition of bacterial communities has been shown to be unique to algal...
Article
Auxin is a key regulator of many developmental processes in land plants and plays a strikingly similar role in the phylogenetically distant brown seaweeds. Emerging evidence shows that the PIN and PIN-like (PILS) auxin transporter families have preceded the evolution of the canonical auxin response pathway. A wide conservation of PILS-mediated auxi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The molecular mechanism underlying sexual reproduction in land plants is well understood in model plants and is a target for crop improvement. However, unlike land plants, the genetic basis involved in triggering reproduction and gamete formation remains elusive in most seaweeds, which are increasingly viewed as an alternative source of...
Preprint
Full-text available
The molecular mechanism underlying sexual reproduction in land plants is well understood in model plants and is a target for crop improvement. However, unlike land plants, the genetic basis involved in triggering reproduction and gamete formation remains elusive in most seaweeds, which are increasingly viewed as an alternative source of functional...
Article
The green seaweed Ulva is an ecologically-important marine primary producer as well as a promising cash crop cultivated for multiple uses. Despite its importance, several molecular tools are still needed to better understand seaweed biology. Here, we report the development of a flexible and modular molecular cloning toolkit for the green seaweed Ul...
Article
Full-text available
A floristic survey of the marine algal biodiversity of Antsiranana Bay, northern Madagascar, was conducted during November 2018. This represents the first inventory encompassing the three major macroalgal classes (Phaeophyceae, Florideophyceae and Ulvophyceae) for the little-known Malagasy marine flora. Combining morphological and DNA-based approac...
Article
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Aim: Historical processes that shaped current diversity patterns of seaweeds remain poorly understood. Using Dictyotales, a globally distributed order of brown seaweeds as a model, we test if historical biogeographical and diversification patterns are comparable across clades. Dictyotales contain some 22 genera, three of which, Dictyota, Lobophora...
Article
The Mediterranean Sea is a hotspot for introduced marine species, including seaweeds. Among red algae, Grateloupia, with no less than eight introduced species, occupies a prominent position. Here, we report a large foliose Grateloupia species collected in Eastern Harbour, Alexandria, Egypt, which had previously been reported as G. acuminata and G....
Preprint
Full-text available
The green seaweed Ulva is an ecologically-important marine primary producer as well as a promising cash crop cultivated for multiple uses. Despite its importance, several molecular tools are still needed to better understand seaweed biology. Here, we report the development of a flexible and modular molecular cloning toolkit for the green seaweed Ul...
Article
Full-text available
Stress-induced reductions in the world's coral populations are, in many locations, giving way to an increase in macroalgae, for example the common brown macroalgal genus Lobophora. While many ecological studies report a single species (Lobo-phora variegata), DNA-based identification methods have recently shown that Lobophora is a highly diverse gen...
Article
Here we report for the first time the presence of Dictyota cyanoloma in southern California. Dictyota cyanoloma is conspicuous in harbors and bays by its distinctive bright blue‐iridescent margins. This species was originally described from Europe but subsequent studies have revealed that it represented an introduction from Australia. The current d...
Article
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Prioritising the management of invasive alien species (IAS) is of global importance and within Europe integral to the EU IAS regulation. To prioritise management effectively the risks posed by IAS need to be assessed, but so too does the feasibility of their management. While the risk of IAS to the EU has been assessed, the feasibility of managemen...
Article
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The brown algae (Phaeophyceae) are a group of multicellular heterokonts that are ubiquitous in today’s oceans. Large brown algae from multiple orders are the foundation to temperate coastal ecosystems globally, a role that extends into arctic and tropical regions, providing services indirectly through increased coastal productivity and habitat prov...
Article
In the past, large, foliose and unbranched Halymenia-like plants from Europe were often identified as ‘Halymenia latifolia’, however recent taxonomic studies have shown that ‘H. latifolia’ was a catch-all name for at least three cryptic species: Neofolia rosea, Nesoia mediterranea, and the genuine H. latifolia, which has been transferred to the rec...
Article
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The unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L thrives in polar sea ice, where it tolerates extreme low temperatures, high salinity, and broad seasonal fluctuations in light conditions. Despite the high interest in biotechnological uses of this species, little is known about the adaptations that allow it to thrive in this harsh and complex envi...
Article
Carpopeltis maillardii has been regarded as a widely distributed species in the Indo‐Pacific region. In this study, we analyzed the genetic diversity of C. maillardii and related species collected from Taiwan and the Indian Ocean based on rbcL sequences, in order to elucidate species boundaries, diversity, and biogeographic patterns. Our analyses s...
Article
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The genus Dictyota (Dictyotales, Phaeophyceae) comprises parenchymatous algae occurring predominantly in tropical to warm-temperate waters and has gathered attention due to its diverse secondary metabolites with antibiofouling and pharmaceutical potential, its oil content, and its potential as animal feed. This has resulted in an increase in econom...
Article
The subclass Corallinophycidae is the only group of red algae characterized by the presence of calcite crystals in their cell walls. Except for the Rhodogorgonales, the remaining orders - collectively called corallines - are diverse and widely distributed, having calcified cell walls and highly variable morphology. Corallines constitute the group w...
Article
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1. The disproportionately low presence of marine species in the list of invasive alien species (IAS) of Union concern of the European Union (EU) Regulation 1143/2014 does not fully acknowledge the threat they pose to the EU marine environment. 2. In this study, the first EU-scale Horizon Scanning (HS) focusing on marine alien species was performed,...
Article
Distributed in tropical and warm‐temperate waters worldwide, Lobophora species are found across the Greater Caribbean (i.e., Caribbean sensu stricto, Gulf of Mexico, Florida, the Bahamas, and Bermuda). We presently discuss the diversity, ecology, biogeography and evolution of the Greater Caribbean Lobophora species based on previous studies and an...
Article
Full-text available
1. The disproportionately low presence of marine species in the list of invasive alien species (IAS) of union concern of the European Union (EU) Regulation 1143/2014 does not fully acknowledge the threat they pose to the EU marine environment. 2. In this study, the first EU-scale horizon scanning focusing on marine alien species was performed, aimi...
Article
Full-text available
The genus Caulerpa is highly diverse, especially in the Caribbean Sea, the Indo-Malay archipelago and the temperate waters of southern Australia. Currently, more than 100 species are recognized worldwide. Despite recent advances in taxonomy and phylogeny, there is still confusion about the delimitation and identification of some species due to trem...
Article
The Neoproterozoic Era records the transition from a largely bacterial to a predominantly eukaryotic phototrophic world, creating the foundation for the complex benthic ecosystems that have sustained Metazoa from the Ediacaran Period onward. This study focuses on the evolutionary origins of green seaweeds, which play an important ecological role in...
Article
The brown alga Lobophora (Dictyotales, Phaeophyceae) is an important macroalga in the North-eastern Atlantic archipelagos (i.e., Macaronesia). Notably in the Canaries it can dominate benthic assemblages. While the genus has been the subject of several ecological studies in the Canaries, no study has yet been conducted to assess species-level divers...
Article
Full-text available
Surveys of the seaweed flora of the Falkland Islands and of Tierra del Fuego revealed the presence of a new species of brown alga. Dictyota falklandica sp. nov. inhabits the shallow rocky infralittoral in sheltered localities and the lower intertidal in more exposed sites. Dictyota falklandica has a regular to irregular habit of dichotomously branc...
Article
The evolutionary and population demographic history of marine red algae in East Asia is poorly understood. Here we reconstructed the phylogeographies of two upper intertidal species endemic to East Asia, Gelidiophycus divaricatus and G. freshwateri. Phylogenetic and phylogeographic inferences of 393 mitochondrial cox1, 128 plastid rbcL, and 342 nuc...
Article
During the course of evolution, variations of a protein sequence is an ongoing phenomenon however limited by the need to maintain its structural and functional integrity. Deciphering the evolutionary path of a protein is thus of fundamental interest. With the development of new methods to visualize high dimension spaces and the improvement of phylo...
Thesis
The future marine environment is a challenge to survive with the rising sea surface temperature. In this scenario, phenotypic plasticity is one of the mechanisms which help marine organisms to cope with the changing environment. Here, we examine the role of phenotypic plasticity through analysing environmental predictability, within generational pl...
Article
Halymenia latifolia from Atlantic Europe and the Mediterranean Sea has been shown in previous studies to be a distinct evolutionary clade, separate from the Halymenia clade that includes the generitype. Halymenia latifolia has recently been transferred to the genus Nesoia. Phylogenetic analyses based on rbcL sequences of European (Atlantic and Medi...
Preprint
The Neoproterozoic Era records the transition from a largely bacterial to a predominantly eukaryotic phototrophic world, creating the foundation for the complex benthic ecosystems that have sustained Metazoa from the Ediacaran Period onward. This study focusses on the evolutionary origins of green seaweeds, which play an important ecological role i...
Article
Full-text available
Keywords: Habitat suitability Mechanistic niche modelling Northward range shift Physiological thresholds Seaweed aquaculture A B S T R A C T The European seaweed cultivation sector is in a transition phase with the rise of seaweed aquaculture due to an increased interest in seaweed resources. Identifying regions with optimal growth conditions for t...
Article
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Siphonous green seaweeds, such as Caulerpa, are among the most morphologically complex algae with differentiated algal structures (morphological niches). Caulerpa is also host to a rich diversity of bacterial endo-and epibionts. The degree to which these bacterial communities are species-, or even niche-specific remains largely unknown. To address...
Article
Full-text available
Tetrahydrofolate and its derivatives, commonly known as folates, are essential for almost all living organisms. Besides acting as one-carbon donors and acceptors in reactions producing various important biomolecules such as nucleic and amino acids, as well as pantothenate, they also supply one-carbon units for methylation reactions. Plants along wi...
Data
NMDS plot showing the β-diversity based on Bray-Curtis dissimilarity of the samples for each Caulerpa species, C. cylindracea (circle) and C. prolifera (triangle). Morphological niches are represented by colors, endobiome (red), epibiome (green), rhizobiome (blue).
Data
Rarefaction curve of raw sequence data. Morphological niches indicated by colors, endobiome (dark red), epibiome (green), rhizobiome (blue). Rarefaction cut off indicated by the black line. (A) C. cylindracea and (B) C. prolifera.
Preprint
Both mating system variation and the propensity of many seaweeds to reproduce both sexually and asexually, leave a strong imprint in the genetic structure of species. In this respect, we study the population genetic structure of Dictyota dichotoma , a common haplodiplont brown subtidal seaweed. This benthic species is widespread in the NE-Atlantic,...
Article
Sampling in the framework of the research program called ‘La Planète Revisitée’ in Kavieng and Madang (Papua New Guinea) brought thus far unknown diversity of the brown algal genus Lobophora to the surface. DNA‐assisted alpha taxonomy allowed identifying the presence of 16 species Lobophora from these two localities, which only share four species i...
Article
The brown algal genus Lobophora is widely reported from the Mediterranean Sea. Contrary to studies in the Indo-Pacific and Caribbean regions, little attention has been given to Lobophora in the Mediterranean Sea, at least using molecular tools. To address this knowledge gap, we sampled speci- mens across the Mediterranean Sea (Spanish coast, Balear...
Article
Full-text available
Auxin controls body plan patterning in land plants and has been proposed to play a similar role in the development of brown algae (Phaeophyta) despite their distant evolutionary relationship with land plants. The mechanism of auxin action in brown algae remains controversial because of contradicting conclusions derived from pharmacological studies...
Article
Many traditional genera of the Halymeniaceae turn out to be poly- or paraphyletic based on molecular phylogenies. The genus Halymenia is no exception. In this study, we provide a detailed characterization of the vegetative and reproductive morphology of the generitype of Halymenia, H. floresii, based on specimens from the north-western Mediterranea...
Article
We report here the 98.5 Mbp haploid genome (12,924 protein coding genes) of Ulva mutabilis, a ubiquitous and iconic representative of the Ulvophyceae or green seaweeds. Ulva’s rapid and abundant growth makes it a key contributor to coastal biogeochemical cycles; its role in marine sulfur cycles is particularly important because it produces high lev...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Biogeographical processes underlying Indo‐Pacific biodiversity patterns have been relatively well studied in marine shallow water invertebrates and fishes, but have been explored much less extensively in seaweeds, despite these organisms often displaying markedly different patterns. Using the marine red alga Portieria as a model, we aim to gain...
Article
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Only two mitochondrial (mt) genomes had been reported in members of the red algal order Batrachospermales, which are confined to freshwater habitats. Additional mt genomes of six representative members (Batrachospermum macrosporum, Kumanoa ambigua, K. mahlacensis, Paralemanea sp., Sheathia arcuata, and Sirodotia delicatula) were sequenced aiming to...
Article
Full-text available
Aquaculture and maritime traffic have been identified as the main vectors for introductions of alien marine species. Except for one notorious case of Caulerpa taxifolia, the role of aquarium trade towards the introduction of alien seaweeds has been largely unassessed. Here, we address the risk of accidental release of seaweed species from the aquar...
Article
The Bangiales is an order of Rhodophyta, widely distributed around the globe and best known for its economic value in the nori industry. The morphological simplicity of the group offers limited distinguishing characters for species identification. We therefore delimited species of the Bangiales along the South African coast based on two unlinked lo...
Article
Motivation The availability of user-friendly, high-resolution global environmental datasets is crucial for bioclimatic modelling. For terrestrial environments, WorldClim has served this purpose since 2005, but equivalent marine data only became available in 2012, with pioneer initiatives like Bio-ORACLE providing data layers for several ecological...
Article
Ideally, datasets for species distribution modelling (SDM) contain evenly sampled records covering the entire distribution of the species, confirmed absences and auxiliary ecophysiological data allowing informed decisions on relevant predictors. Unfortunately, these criteria are rarely met for marine organisms for which distributions are too often...