A review on the seaweed resources of Myanmar
A total of 261species of marine benthic algae under 121genera,comprising 72 taxa belonging to 26 genera of Chlorophyta, 45 taxa belonging to 18 genera of Phaeophyta and 144 taxa belonging to 77 genera of Rhodophyta growing along the Tanintharyi Coastal Zone, Deltaic Coastal Zone and Rakhine Coastal Zone, were recorded. In general, diversity ratios of seaweeds occur in 3 Coastal Zones is 3:1:4 between the Tanintharyi Coastal Zone (146 taxa), Deltaic Coastal Zone (53 taxa) and Rakhine Coastal Zone (224 taxa).Among these, 89 species of marine benthic algae, including 25 taxa of green, 9 taxa of brown and 55 taxa of red algae, were newly recorded from Myanmar waters. The latitudinal distribution of marine benthic algae along the Myanmar Coastal Zones reveals 25 species of marine benthic algae which uniquely occur in low lattitute in the Tanintharyi Coastal Zone and 111 species which exclusively predominate in high lattitutein the Rakhine Coastal Zone. Monostroma, Ulva, Caulerpa and Codium of Chlorophyta, Dictyota, Spatoglossum, Hormophysa, Turbinaria and Sargassum of Phaeophyta and Phycocalidia, Dermonema, Gelidiella, Halymenia, Solieria, Hypnea, Gracilaria,Gracilariopsis, Hydopuntia, Catenella and Acanthophora of Rhodophyta could be considered as of dependable natural resources of Myanmar to produce the sea-vegetables and phycocolloids. Mariculture of some economically important marine red algae such as Gracilaria spp., Hydopuntia spp., Catenella spp. And Kappaphycus alvarezii was described. Current status and prospects of phycocolloid industries producing alginate, agar-agar and carrageenansfrom raw materials of seaweeds of Myanmar were discussed. Checklist, distribution and conservation of marine benthic algae were briefly presented.