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The occurrence of corallimorpharians (naked corals). Daphne G. Fautin Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Natural History Museum University of Kansas Lawrence, Kansas 66045, USA John M. Guinotte Marine Conservation Biology Institute 2122 112th Ave NE, Suite B-300

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the occurrence of corallimorpharians naked corals

The occurrence of corallimorpharians (naked corals)

Daphne G. Fautin

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

and Natural History Museum

University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas 66045, USA

John M. Guinotte

Marine Conservation Biology Institute

2122 112th Ave NE, Suite B-300

Bellevue, Washington 98004, USA

diversity
DIVERSITY
  • 1631 valid species of Scleractinia
  • 55 valid species of Corallimorpharia
  • 1112 valid species of Actiniaria
  • Members of all taxa occur throughout the world’s oceans
slide5
to compare the depth distribution of deep-sea corallimorpharians with that of deep-sea scleractinians

OBJECTIVE

to infer if CaCO3 concentration may be relevant to the occurrence of these animals that are so similar except for the skeleton

slide6

http://hercules.kgs.ku.edu/Hexacoral/Anemone2

DATA:general surveys rather than those for the target organisms

slide7

The Challenger Expedition

and US Antarctic Program

challenger
Challenger

ScleractiniaCorallimorpharia

Species98 (91 to species) 3

(in 41 genera) (All Corallimorphus)

Stations 70 6

(Both occurred at 3 stations)

Depth range 18-5304 m 2515-3950 m

Average depth 1439 m 3142 m

p = 0.000201 t-test 1-tailed, unequal variance

antarctic
Antarctic

ScleractiniaCorallimorpharia

Species38 (37 to species) 2

(in 19 genera) (Both Corallimorphus)

Stations 190 12

(Both occurred at 8 stations)

Depth range 9-4840 m 132-4410 m

Average depth 676 m 1600 m

p = 0.019613 t-test 1-tailed, unequal variance

comparisons between antarctic and challenger data
COMPARISONS between Antarctic and Challenger data
  • Antarctic lower diversity in both taxa
  • Twice as many stations in Antarctic
  • Average Antarctic depth about half that of Challenger for both taxa
  • In Antarctica, depth range of Scleractinia slightly shallower, that of Corallimorpharia considerably shallower and deeper

Yet average depth of corallimorpharians significantly deeper in both datasets

caco 3 concentration proportion deeper than aragonite saturation horizon 1995
CaCO3 concentration:proportion deeper than aragonite saturation horizon (1995)

ScleractiniaCorallimorpharia

Challenger

stations 18/40 (45%) 5/5 (100%)

species 19/98 (19%) 3/3 (100%)

(in 10/41 genera)

Antarctic

stations 29/122 (24%) 5/10 (50%)

species 16/38 (42%) 2/2 (100%)

(in 9/19 genera)

implications
IMPLICATIONS

“Polyp bail-out”: under stress (including in aquaria), scleractinians can crawl out of their skeletons.

Fine and Tchernov. 2007. Science.

Scleractinian coral species survive and recover from decalcification.

These “naked” polyps are indistinguishable from corallimorpharians

the future
THE FUTURE??

More corallimorpharian species

and/or

Shallower scleractinians

acknowledgments
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  • Funding was provided by US National Science Foundation grants DEB95-21819 and DEB99-78106 (in the program PEET - Partnerships to Enhance Expertise in Taxonomy), grant OCE 00-03970, and grant EF-0531779 (in the program Assembling the Tree of Life).
  • Sukeerthi Bokka for assembling data
  • Matthew Jones for photo of corallimorpharian
  • James C Orr for CaCO3 concentration data
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