Bathymetric evolution of black corals through deep time

Horowitz, Jeremy, Quattrini, Andrea M., Brugler, Mercer R., Miller, David J., Pahang, Kristina, Bridge, Tom C.L., and Cowman, Peter F. (2023) Bathymetric evolution of black corals through deep time. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences, 290 (2008). 20231107.

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Deep-sea lineages are generally thought to arise from shallow-water ancestors, but this hypothesis is based on a relatively small number of taxonomic groups. Anthozoans, which include corals and sea anemones, are significant contributors to the faunal diversity of the deep sea, but the timing and mechanisms of their invasion into this biome remain elusive. Here, we reconstruct a fully resolved, time-calibrated phylogeny of 83 species in the order Antipatharia (black coral) to investigate their bathymetric evolutionary history. Our reconstruction indicates that extant black coral lineages first diversified in continental slope depths (∼250-3000 m) during the early Silurian (∼437 millions of years ago (Ma)) and subsequently radiated into, and diversified within, both continental shelf (less than 250 m) and abyssal (greater than 3000 m) habitats. Ancestral state reconstruction analysis suggests that the appearance of morphological features that enhanced the ability of black corals to acquire nutrients coincided with their invasion of novel depths. Our findings have important conservation implications for anthozoan lineages, as the loss of 'source' slope lineages could threaten millions of years of evolutionary history and confound future invasion events, thereby warranting protection.

Item ID: 80834
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2954
Keywords: abyss, adaptations, antipatharia, shelf, slope, ultraconserved elements
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DE170100516, ARC DE180100746, ARC CE140100020
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2024 06:41
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310405 Evolutionary ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180504 Marine biodiversity @ 100%
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