Assemblages of macroalgal species present in the upper reaches of estuaries were compared using published species lists for the North Atlantic, covering a north-south gradient in Europe from Iceland to northern Spain, and in North America between the St. Lawrence and Virginia. Patterns were sought using cluster analysis and ordination. Three groupings of estuaries were noted: Icelandic, mainland European and American. There was a slight trend of increase in the ratio of red to brown algae with decreasing latitude in Europe, though not as marked as for open coastal algae. This might be associated with the effect of temperature on salinity tolerance. Despite this biogeographic trend, some of the commonest species appear to be widely spread through estuaries, possibly including southern Atlantic and Pacific locations. Confirmation of the trends suggested requires further data from southern European estuaries. © 1995 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
- multivariate analysis