Publications:

Lindner et al. 2008


scientific article | PLoS ONE | open access

From Offshore to Onshore: Multiple Origins of Shallow-Water Corals from Deep-Sea Ancestors

Lindner A, Cairns SD, Cunningham CW


Abstract

Shallow-water tropical reefs and the deep sea represent the two most diverse marine environments. Understanding the origin and diversification of this biodiversity is a major quest in ecology and evolution. The most prominent and well-supported explanation, articulated since the first explorations of the deep sea, holds that benthic marine fauna originated in shallow, onshore environments, and diversified into deeper waters. In contrast, evidence that groups of marine organisms originated in the deep sea is limited, and the possibility that deep-water taxa have contributed to the formation of shallow-water communities remains untested with phylogenetic methods. Here we show that stylasterid corals (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa: Stylasteridae)—the second most diverse group of hard corals—originated and diversified extensively in the deep sea, and subsequently invaded shallow waters. Our phylogenetic results show that deep-water stylasterid corals have invaded the shallow-water tropics three times, with one additional invasion of the shallow-water temperate zone. Our results also show that anti-predatory innovations arose in the deep sea, but were not involved in the shallow-water invasions. These findings are the first robust evidence that an important group of tropical shallow-water marine animals evolved from deep-water ancestors.

Keywords
Meta-data

Mesophotic “mentions”
0 x (total of 4330 words)

Classification
* Presents original data
* Focused on 'mesophotic' depth range
* Focused on 'mesophotic coral ecosystem'

Fields
Evolution
Molecular ecology

Focusgroups
Scleractinia (Hard Corals)

Locations
New Caledonia
USA - Continental Pacific

Platforms
Land-based

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