Biodiv Sci ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (1): 19-27.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.09161

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Historical development and some emendations of dinoflagellate taxonomy

Xin Ma1,2, Ruixiang Li1,2,*(), Yan Li1,2, Yulong Pan3   

  1. 1 First Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Qingdao 266061
    2 Key Laboratory of Environmental Science and Engineering for Marine Ecology, State Oceanic Administration, Qingdao 266061
    3 North China Sea Branch of the State Oceanic Administration, Qingdao 266033
  • Received:2012-08-14 Accepted:2012-11-05 Online:2013-01-20 Published:2013-02-04
  • Contact: Li Ruixiang


The historical development of dinoflagellate taxonomy in China and the world are reviewed, and the taxonomic status of some dinoflagellate groups in Chinese coastal seas are emended. It has been more than 200 years since the discovery of dinoflagellates, but following intensive study, increasing confusion and controversy in dinofalgellate taxonomy has become apparent. In this paper, a broad overview of the history of dinoflagellate taxonomy is presented, highlighting some major developments. Differences exist between the international and Chinese taxonomy system. When comparing the internationally accepted system (based on the information provided by the website algaeBASE) with that used in China (based on the monograph Checklist of Marine Biota of China Seas), we found that they were very similar at the order level, but some differences existed at the family and genus levels. According to morphological and some physiological characteristics, a more reasonable taxonomy is presented. The main emendations are: (1) the three genera named Karenia, Karlodinium and Takayama, are separated from the family Gymnodiniaceae and classified as a new family Kareniaceae; (2) most species in the genus Ceratium are placed in Neoceratium; (3) the genus Alexandrium is separated from family Goniodomataceae, and placed in the family Gonyaulacaceae; (4) the family Heteraulacaceae is replaced by the family Goniodomataceae; and (5) two new orders, Oxyrrhinales and Pyrocystales, are established.

Key words: dinoflagellate, classification, Alexandrium, Kareniaceae, Oxyrrhinales, Pyrocystales