Species boundaries in scleractinian corals a morphometric analysis

Wolstenholme, Jackie (1999) Species boundaries in scleractinian corals a morphometric analysis. In: Papers from Australian Coral Reef Society Scientific Conference. p. 62. From: Australian Coral Reef Society Scientific Conference, 3-6 September, 1999, South Molle Island, QLD, Australia.

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Accurate definition of species is critical to understanding ecological and evolutionary processes and correctly measuring biodiversity. Delimiting species boundaries in scleractinian corals is confounded by phenotypic plasticity of skeletal taxonomic characters. Recent molecular and breeding studies also indicate that morphological boundaries may not correspond with genetic and reproductive boundaries. Despite these complexities, morphological characters offer the only operational framework for recognising coral species. It is therefore essential that_we determine the level of concordance between morphological boundaries and molecular and breeding boundaries in sc1eractinian corals. To achieve this, multifaceted approaches are necessary, combining morphometric, molecular and breeding studies that examine both sympatric and allopatric populations. Here I present the results of stage one of such a project: a morphometric analysis of fme-scale skeletal characters, using the Acropora humilis species group as a case study. This species group contains eight apparently closely related species that are not separated by discrete morphological characters, as currently described. Samples used in this analysis were collected from American Samoa. The taxonomic hypothesis stemming from these results will be interpreted for a number of allopatric popUlations, in conjunction with molecular and reproductive data, in future analyses.

Item ID: 10808
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
Keywords: Acropora, Acropora humilis species group, scleractinian corals, species boundaries, morphometrics, skeletal characters, American Samoa
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Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2010 02:44
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060301 Animal Systematics and Taxonomy @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060302 Biogeography and Phylogeography @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060311 Speciation and Extinction @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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