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Azores

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    Sea turtles are the best-known and more widespread marine reptiles. However, information on their distribution and the occurrence of most species, except for nesting beaches, remains scarce and sporadic, depending on sightings from fishing vessels, tourist activities and occurrences in coastal areas as well as fishing bycatch. Since the last updated species’ list for the Azores (Santos et al, 2010), no new species’ record was known for Azorean waters, until October 2020, with the confirmed sighting of an Olive Ridley, Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz, 1829) (Barcelos et al. 2021). After that, in February 2021, a second individual was found stranded on Pico Island, already in an advanced state of decomposition. This increased the number of species present in Azores EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) to six out of the seven extant worldwide. The remaining one, Natator depressus (Garman, 1880), is native to the Indo-pacific (see Red List Standards & Petitions Subcommittee, 1996).

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    This dataset presente the distribution of testate amoebae in São miguel island (Azores archipelago)

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    During a LIFE research project aiming at the implementation of habitats conservation and restoration of coastal wetland areas of Praia da Vitória (Terceira, Azores, Portugal), there was the opportunity to undertake a systematic record of bryophytes in three wetland areas: Paul da Praia da Vitória (PPV), Paul do Belo Jardim (PBJ) and Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia (PPCP). The objective of the study was to perform a rapid biodiversity assessment, comparing the three sites in two different years, before and after the implementation of several conservation measures. This project also contributed to improve the knowledge of Azorean bryophyte diversity at both local and regional scales, including the recording of new taxa for Terceira island and new records for Azores.

  • The Azorean Biodiversity Portal provides access to biodiversity occurrence data published for Azores by all scientific literature, non-published reports and citizen science. This portal implemented by the University of Azores, under the scope of PORBIOTA-LifeWatch.Pt, corresponds to the implementation of the Azores/Portuguese platform of the Atlas of Living Australia. The platform is currently supported by the community Living Atlases, a community of GBIF Nodes and other partners. The implementation of the platform seeks to answer to access needs for biodiversity data, with access and data analysis adjusted to Azores, and its geographic, administrative, biogeographic and ecological context. Moreover, it provides tools for data analysis with greater details and capacity for details.

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    The data presented here come from field observations between August 2013 and October 2018, as part of a LIFE research project aiming to preserve and restore three coastal wetlands from Praia da Vitória (Terceira Island, Azores, Portugal). Systematic monthly observations were carried out for five years in order to provide a checklist and monitoring of bird species and subspecies observed in three sites: Paul da Praia da Vitória (PPV), Paul do Belo Jardim (PBJ) and Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia (PPCP). Main objectives were to determine their ornithological richness while also adding data to the overall knowledge of Azorean Avifauna and monitor seasonal and between years variation on species abundance.

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    During a LIFE project dedicated to the implementation of the conservation of the habitats and restoration of coastal wet areas of Praia da Vitória (Terceira, Azores, Portugal), there was the opportunity to study several groups of arthropods in three wet areas: Paul da Praia da Vitória (PPV), Paul do Belo Jardim (PBJ) and Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia (PPCP). The objective of the study was to perform a rapid biodiversity assessment, comparing the three sites in two different years, before and after the implantation of several conservation measures. This project contributed also to improve the knowledge of Azorean arthropod diversity at both local and regional scales also including new taxa for Terceira island and new records for Azores. Taking into consideration those aims, a set of standardised sampling methods were performed inspired by the COBRA protocol originally developed for spiders. A total of 15,810 specimens belonging to 216 arthropod species and subspecies were collected. Beetles (Insecta, Coleoptera) and spiders (Araneae) dominate, with 81 and 51 taxa respectively. Two beetle families dominate, Staphylinidae and Curculionidae with respectively 22 and 17 species and subspecies. Exotic species also dominate with 131 species and subspecies, the Azorean endemic taxa being restricted to only eight taxa. The remaining 77 species and subspecies are native non-endemic. A total of six species are novel for the Azores (five exotic and one possibly native) and an additional 15 taxa are novel for Terceira island (9 exotic and 6 native).

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    The University of Azores hosts the Azores Bioportal (http://azoresbioportal.uac.pt/) a regional E-Infrastructure. The Azorean Biodiversity Portal (ABP) is an e-infrastructure now associated with Portuguese PORBIOTA and LIFEWATCH. The ABP is a key e-infrastructure for the integrated management of biodiversity data of the Azores, providing a large number of specialized services supporting research, policy and education. The 3000 visits per day, the numerous international scientific collaborations, resulting in publications and academic thesis, and the connection with other prestigious databases demonstrate the Portal’s scientific quality as well as its general appeal. Several Natural History Collections are also managed by University of Azores, namely of Algae, Bryophytes, Vascular Plants, Molluscs and Arthropods.The Azorean Biodiversity Portal shares all the information available on the biodiversity of the Azores, one of the five Macaronesian archipelagos (the other being Madeira, Salvage Islands, the Canary Islands and Cape Verde). Macaronesia is recognized as an important part of the Mediterranean hotspot of biodiversity; however, a comprehensive systematic revision of its biodiversity was still lacking at the end of the 20th century.Based in two European INTERREG IIIB projects, an unprecedented collaboration of more than 200 taxonomists and other scientists resulted in accurate and comprehensive lists of terrestrial species in the Canary Islands (Izquierdo et al., 2001, 2004; Moro et al., 2003), Cape Verde (Arechavaleta et al., 2005), the Azores (Borges et al., 2005b, 2010) and Madeira–Selvagens (Borges et al., 2008). This unique collaboration was fundamental for creating the baseline taxonomic information for the ABP, updating the taxonomic information, listing synonyms.

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    A recent review study from 2021 presents a comprehensive checklist of ladybirds of Portugal, including the Azores and Madeira Archipelagos. Until then, the available information was very scattered and based on a single revision dating back to 1986, a few international catalogues and databases, individual records, and studies on communities of agroecosystems. However, no information is available on faunal composition across the Azorean islands and their habitats, using standardized inventory. Here, we present data about biodiversity of ladybirds and their distribution and abundance in five Islands of the Azores (São Miguel, Graciosa, Faial, Pico, and S. Jorge). Surveys included herbaceous and arboreal habitats from native to anthropogenic managed habitats: ruderal road vegetation, vegetable garden, mixed forest of endemic and non-native habitats, costal prairies, costal mixed vegetation, cornfields, urban areas, and evergreen of endemic and exotic forest. We aimed to contribute to the ongoing effort to document the terrestrial biodiversity of Portugal, including the archipelago of the Azores, within the research project AZORESBIOPORTAL–PORBIOTA (ACORES-01-0145-FEDER-000072).

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    Background The macroalgal flora of the Azores archipelago has attracted the interest of many researchers in the past, the first publications going back to the nineteenth century. Initial studies were mainly taxonomic, resulting in the publication of species lists, which were compiled by Neto (1994) in the first checklist of the Azorean benthic marine algae. Later, research directed at the benthic marine macroalgae and littoral communities, encompassing presence and occurrence data recorded at littoral and sublittoral levels down to a depth of approximately 40 m around the islands, has resulted in floristic, taxonomic and ecological publications, academic thesis, and technical reports (see revision in Neto et al. 2014 and Haroun et al. 2019). Most of this recent research also resulted in voucher specimens deposited in the AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha and the LSM - Molecular Systematics Laboratory, both at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores. New information A total of 498 taxa (including species, subspecies, varieties and forms) are recorded, comprising 331 Rhodophyta, 75 Chlorophyta 92 Ochrophyta (Phaeophyceae). Of the 417 likely native taxa, 8 are Azorean endemics (5 Rhodophyta, Lithophyllum azorum Me.Lemoine, Lithophyllum bipartitum Me.Lemoine, Polysiphonia azorica O.C.Schmidt, Polysiphonia hochstetteriana O.C.Schmidt and Predaea feldmannii subsp. azorica Gabriel, and 3 Chlorophyta, Cladophora michalensis O.C.Schmidt, Cladophora theotonii O.C.Schmidt and Cladophora weizenbaurii O.C.Schmidt) and6 are Macaronesian endemics (5 Rhodophyta, Botryocladia macaronesica Afonso-Carrillo, Sobrino, Tittley & Neto, Laurencia viridis Gil-Rodríguez & Haroun, Meristotheca decumbens Grunow, Millerella tinerfensis (Seoane-Camba) S.M.Boo & J.M.Rico, Phyllophora gelidioides P.Crouan & H.Crouan ex Karsakoff and the Chlorophyta Codium elisabethiae O.C.Schmidt). In addition, about 39 taxa have been introduced (30 Rhodophyta, 3 Chlorophyta and 6 Ochrophyta) and 42 have an uncertain status for the region (27 Rhodophyta, 8 Chlorophyta and 7 Ochrophyta). Introduction The marine benthic macroalgae of the Azores soon attracted the interest of researchers and naturalists. Research on the subject started in the mid nineteenth century (1838) when Guthnick and the two Hochstetters, father and son, visited the archipelago (Neto 1994). These initial taxonomic studies were followed by several other visitors, including the German botanist Otto Christian Schmidt, who was responsible for the first comprehensive ecological approach to the Azorean algal flora, describing species associations and their spatial organization (Schmidt, 1931). More recently research expanded to include studies on species biology, ecology, and the structure and functioning of intertidal and shallow subtidal communities. The first checklist of the Azorean benthic marine algae (Neto, 1994) brought together the resulting floristic information, providing distributional records within the archipelago for the 307 reported species. This checklist was revised by Parente (2010), increasing the number of algae species to 327, but without providing distributional information. A year later Rosas-Alquicira et al. (2011a) published a catalog of non-fossil geniculate coralline red algae (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) of the Macaronesia in which they made a critical review of species and infraspecific taxa and an assessment of the species diversity in the region. Investigations on algae biodiversity, biogeography, conservation, ecology, taxonomy and biotechnological applications have continued generating knowledge on the Azorean macroalgae flora, its biotechnological potential and the structure and functioning of littoral communities (see revisions by Neto et al. 2014 and Haroun et al. 2019). The paper by Freitas et al. (2019) compiled the published floristic data, increased the number of macroalgae species recorded for the Azores to 405 and reported that, amongst the mid-Atlantic archipelagos, the Azores is second in species richness after the Canary Islands, with 689 species, and followed by Madeira (396), Cabo Verde (333) and Selvagens (295 species). In the last few years, a major effort, mainly by local research teams, has resulted in several publications on the Azorean benthic macroalgae (see, for example, Patarra et al. 2017, 2019, 2020, Bruno de Sousa et al. 2019, Cacabelos et al. 2019, 2020, Freitas et al. 2019, Kellaris et al. 2019, Martins et al. 2019a, Parente et al. 2019, 2020, Faria et al. 2020a, b, Neto et al. 2020a, b, c, d, e, f, g, 2021a, b, Vieira et al. 2020). Purpose: The present paper aims to give an updated, systematic review of the red, green and brown benthic marine macroalgae of the Azores, bringing together all the published information to date (including the currently accepted taxon names and all the previous bibliographic records for the region) and compiling general information on each species’ occurrence and distribution in the archipelago. By doing this, it contributes to address several biodiversity shortfalls (see Cardoso et al. 2011, Hortal et al. 2015), namely the need to catalogue the Azorean macroalgae (Linnean shortfall) and to improve current information on their local and regional geographic distribution (Wallacean shortfall). This paper also aims to provide a valuable marine biological tool to aid research on the systematics, diversity and conservation, climate change, which will be of assistance to a wide range of focal groups including academics, students, governments, private organizations and the general public.

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    The data presented here comes from samples collected as part of two recent research projects (ISLANDBIODIV and MACDIV), which aimed to understand the drivers of community assembly in Macaronesian islands. We applied the sampling protocol COBRA (Conservation Oriented Biodiversity Rapid Assessment, Cardoso 2009) in ten 50 m x 50 m native forest plots in the Azorean Islands of Pico (6 plots) and Terceira (10 plots) to assess the diversity of spiders species. Through this publication we contribute to the knowledge of the arachnofauna of the Azores, and more specifically, to that of the islands of Pico and Terceira. This dataset presents data generated from spider samples collected in 16 forest plots on the Azorean islands of Pico and Terceira. Of the 40 species collected, 16 were introduced, 13 endemic, seven native (five of them Macaronesian endemics) and four undescribed species. Although most of the species had been previously recorded on both islands, two of the introduced species were recorded in Pico for the first time.