, Volume 89, Issue 4, pp 464–470

Biogeographic comparisons of marine algal polyphenolics: evidence against a latitudinal trend


  • Nancy M. Targett
    • Graduate College of Marine StudiesUniversity of Delaware
  • Loren D. Coen
    • Dauphin Island Sea Lab
    • University of Southern Alabama
  • Anne A. Boettcher
    • Graduate College of Marine StudiesUniversity of Delaware
  • Christopher E. Tanner
    • Division of Natural Science and MathematicsSt Mary's College
Original Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00317150

Cite this article as:
Targett, N.M., Coen, L.D., Boettcher, A.A. et al. Oecologia (1992) 89: 464. doi:10.1007/BF00317150


Marine allelochemicals generally are present in greater quantity and diversity in tropical than in temperate regions. Marine algal polyphenolics have been reported as an apparent exception to this biogeographic trend, with literature values for phenolic concentrations significantly higher in temperate than in tropical brown algae. In contrast, our results, the first reported for Caribbean brown algae (orders Dictyotales and Fucales), show that many species have high phenolic levels. In addition, both our study and previous studies with north temperate and tropical species demonstrate that there is marked variation in algal phenolic levels within species from different locations. We conclude that high phenolic concentrations occur in species from both temperate and tropical regions, indicating that latitude alone is not a reasonable predictor of plant phenolic concentrations.

Key words

PhenolicsPhaeophytesBrown algaePlant-herbivore interactionsBiogeography

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992