Marine benthic dinoflagellates – their relevance for science and society
Mona Hoppenrath, Nicolas Chomérat, Takeo Horiguchi, Shauna A. Murray & Lesley Rhodes
This book is the most comprehensive summary of our knowledge of benthic dinoflagellate species, including a compilation of their toxins.


Dinoflagellates are important primary producers, symbionts and, at the same time, heterotrophic consumers and parasites. The species composition in benthic habitats is quite distinct from planktonic habitats. Our understanding of benthic dinoflagellate biodiversity, biogeography, toxicology and ecology has improved but is still rudimentary. Benthic harmful algal blooms have attracted increasing interest because of the impact of ciguatera poisoning, the most important food-borne disease of non-bacterial origin worldwide, which is caused by benthic dinoflagellate species. Ciguatera poisoning appears to have increased worldwide in recent years.

This publication is an updated summary of the taxonomy of currently described taxa and includes morphological and for the first time molecular genetic information for species identification. It contains the most comprehensive review of benthic dinoflagellate toxins published so far. The book also describes methods of study, discusses phylogenetics and evolution, and highlights their scientific relevance as well as the health and economic impacts of benthic dinoflagellates for society.

Compared to the first edition (KSR Vol. 54), 64 new species, 20 new genera and 19 new combinations are described. All chapters have been revised to reflect the latest knowledge and more than 150 new publications have been integrated. The methods section has been expanded to include light microscopy, molecular genetic methods for detection and quantification, and toxicity tests and toxin analyses. For example, a new sampling method that can also be used for quantification is described, as is the metabarcoding approach to biodiversity detection. Species descriptions have been expanded, in many cases with information on molecular identification. The chapter on toxins has been updated. The chapter Relevance for science and society has been added. In parallel to the new edition, identification helps and matrix keys will be available online via the pages of the “Centre of Excellence for Dinophyte Taxonomy” (CEDiT).

This book is a fundamental contribution to improving the monitoring of benthic dinoflagellates worldwide: 242 species in 63 genera are presented, illustrated with more than 240 color images, about 250 electron micrographs and more than 330 drawings

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