Simon Malcomber DEB Division Of Environmental Biology
BIO Direct For Biological Sciences
December 1, 2012
July 31, 2016 (Estimated)
Awarded Amount to Date:
Nathan Smith email@example.com (Principal Investigator)
2400 Sixth Street N W
Systematics & Biodiversity Sci
Program Reference Code(s):
7375, 9169, EGCH
Program Element Code(s):
Coral reefs are among the most diverse marine ecosystems and are increasingly threatened by climate change, ocean acidification, overfishing, and anthropogenic disturbance. They are constructed by 18 families and >800 species of reef-building coral. The traditional classification scheme of reef-building corals based on macromorphology indicate that few groups have distributions limited to the Caribbean. Recent molecular analyses, however, disagree with the traditional classification and have identified a previously unrecognized, exclusively Caribbean lineage. These findings indicate reef-building corals are in need of a complete re-evaluation. This collaborative project will assess the diversity and clarify the taxonomy and relationships between a group of Caribbean reef corals from related Mediterranean and Indo-Pacific species beginning ~55 million years ago. The project will analyze 79 living and ~380 fossil species. Molecular and morphological datasets will be integrated for the first time, and include novel microscopic features. The evolutionary history of Caribbean reefs will be reconstructed, and the effects of past biogeographic events on present-day biodiversity will be assessed.
A postdoctoral scholar, graduate student, and four undergraduates will be trained in coral systematics. Results will be publically disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and electronic sources via an online taxonomic database, Neogene Marine Biota of Tropical America (NMITA) (http://nmita.iowa.uiowa.edu/), and the Encyclopedia of Life (http://eol.org). Project results will influence conservation priorities that are based on species numbers without consideration of evolutionary distinctiveness.
PUBLICATIONS PRODUCED AS A RESULT OF THIS RESEARCH
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Budd, Ann F.; Fukami, Hironobu; Smith, Nathan D.; Knowlton, Nancy. "Taxonomic classification of the reef coral family Mussidae (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia)," ZOOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY, v.166, 2012, p. 465-529.
Budd, A. F., H. Fukami, N. D. Smith, and N. Knowlton. "Taxonomic classification of the reef coral family Mussidae (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia)," Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, v.166, 2012, p. 465.
Huang, D., F. Benzoni, H. Fukami, N. Knowlton, N. D. Smith, and A. F. Budd.. "Taxonomic classification of the reef coral families Merulinidae, Montastraeidae and Diploastraeidae (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia).," Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, v.171, 2014, p. 277.
Huang, D., F. Benzoni, H. Fukami, N. Knowlton, N. D. Smith, and A. F. Budd. "Taxonomic classification of the reef coral families Merulinidae, Montastraeidae and Diploastraeidae (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia)," Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, v.171, 2015, p. 277.