Coral barnacles: Cenozoic decline and extinction in the Atlantic/East Pacific versus diversification in the Indo-West Pacific


ABSTRACT The pyrgomatid coral barnacles, first appearing in the late Oligocene of the western Atlantic, underwent a Miocene diversification unparalleled by any other group of sessile barnacles. Diversification in the Indo- Pacific (eastern Tethys) coincided with retreat of the tropics from higher latitudes, especially in the Atlantic. Fragmentation of the tropics, due to the breakup of the Tethys seaway, and wholesale extinctions of their host corals beginning in the Oligocene of Europe, Mediterranean and eastern Pacific resulted in relictual distributions and regional endemism. This was followed by Neogene extinctions of many host coral genera in the western Atlantic which were not replaced by originations. The exceptional diversity of pyrgomatids now evident in the Indo-Pacific was tied to the survival and radiation of the corals found there. Curiously, our knowledge of pyrgomatid numbers and diversity has shifted from the Indonesian to peripheral centers of distribution.

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    ABSTRACT: A new species of coral inhabiting barnacle Cantellius cardenae spec. nov. (Crustacea, Cirripedia: Pyrgomatinae) is described. This barnacle was found on the staghorn coral Acropora (Isopora) brueggemanni (Scleractinia: Acroporidae). It is characterized by having transversally elongated scuta and narrow terga with a spur length more than half of the total tergal length. This species belongs to the secundus group of Cantellius, which includes barnacles with transversally elongated scuta, and which are limited to the Acroporidae. The distribution of C. cardenae supports the hypothesis that structurally specialized pyrgomatines occupy a more limited variety of hosts than do morphologicaly generalized ones.
    Zoologische Mededelingen, Leiden. 01/2003; 77.
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    ABSTRACT: Four species of coral‐inhabiting barnacles (Pyrgomatinae) are reported. A single species, Cantellius septimus, was found in Montipora from the Kermadec Islands; this represents the most southerly record of coral‐inhabiting barnacles. The material from the Niue Island contains three species, Savignium crenatum, Trevathana dentata, and a new species, Trevathana niuea n. sp. Trevathana niuea is compared with other species of Trevathana.
    New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research - N Z J MAR FRESHWATER RES. 01/2004; 38(1):43-49.
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    ABSTRACT: The biodiversity of coral reefs is dominated by invertebrates. Many of these invertebrates live in close association with scleractinian corals, relying on corals for food, habitat or settlement cues. Given their strong dependence on corals, it is of great concern that our knowledge of coral-associated invertebrates is so limited, especially in light of severe and ongoing degradation of coral reef habitats and the potential for species extinctions. This review examines the taxonomic extent of coral-associated invertebrates, the levels of dependence on coral hosts, the nature of associations between invertebrates and corals, and the factors that threaten coral-associated invertebrates now and in the future. There are at least 860 invertebrate species that have been described as coral asso-ciated, of which 310 are decapod crustaceans. over half of coral-associated invertebrates appear to have an obligate dependence on live corals. Many exhibit a high degree of preference for one or two coral species, with species in the genera Pocillopora, Acropora and Stylophora commonly pre-ferred. This level of habitat specialization may place coral-associated invertebrates at a great risk of extinction, particularly because preferred coral genera are those most susceptible to coral bleaching and mortality. In turn, many corals are also reliant on the services of particular invertebrates, lead-ing to strong feedbacks between abundance of corals and their associated invertebrates. The loss of even a few preferred coral taxa could lead to a substantial decline in invertebrate biodiversity and have far-reaching effects on coral reef ecosystem function. A full appreciation of the consequences of further coral reef degradation for invertebrate biodiversity awaits a more complete description of the diversity of coral-associated invertebrates, the roles they play in coral reef ecosystems, their contribution to reef resilience and their conservation needs.
    Oceanography and marine biology 06/2011; 49:43-104. · 6.91 Impact Factor

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