The identification of species is one of the most basic, and yet critically important, issues in biology with far-reaching potential implications for fields such as biodiversity conservation, population ecology and epidemiology. Morphology has long been the primary tool biologists have used to categorize life. However, we now know that a significant portion of natural diversity is morphologically hidden, and therefore, we must integrate nonmorphological tools into the description of biodiversity. Here, we demonstrate the utility of multilocus population genetic data for identifying and characterizing cryptic species complexes, even when species share large amounts of genetic variability. Specifically, we have used DNA sequence data from 12 genomic regions to characterize two widespread species complexes in the coral genus Acropora: A. cytherea and A. hyacinthus. These two morphospecies have each been sampled from 5 to 7 locations throughout their Indo-Pacific distributions, and with the use of structure and hierarchical clustering, we demonstrate the presence of at least six widespread cryptic species within these two morphospecies complexes. After identifying cryptic lineages, we then utilize the genetic data to examine the history of introgressive hybridization within and between these morphospecies complexes. Our data indicate that these two complexes form a global syngameon with consistent patterns of introgression between species across large geographic distributions.
The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 20 records.
This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.
The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.
How to cite
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
Southwestern Pacific OBIS (2015). Extensive sympatry, cryptic diversity and introgression throughout the geographic distribution of two coral species complexes. Southwestern Pacific OBIS, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Wellington, New Zealand, 20 records, Online http://nzobisipt.niwa.co.nz/resource.do?r=smpatry_of_coral released on April 7, 2015.
Researchers should respect the following rights statement:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) License.
This resource has not been registered with GBIF
- Metadata Provider ●
- Point Of Contact
|Bounding Coordinates||South West [-19.16, -169.655], North East [7.908, 39.11]|
Two widespread species complexes in the coral genus Acropora
|Species||Acropora cytherea, Acropora hyacinthus|
- LADNER, J. T. and PALUMBI, S. R. (2012), Extensive sympatry, cryptic diversity and introgression throughout the geographic distribution of two coral species complexes. Molecular Ecology, 21: 2224–2238. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05528.x
marine, harvested by iOBIS