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Phylogeny-based species delimitations and the evolution of host associations in symbiotic zoanthids (Anthozoa, Zoanthidea) of the wider Caribbean region

Swain, T.D. (2009). Phylogeny-based species delimitations and the evolution of host associations in symbiotic zoanthids (Anthozoa, Zoanthidea) of the wider Caribbean region. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 156(2): 223-238. dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1096-3642.2008.00513.x
Peer reviewed article
In: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. Academic Press: London. ISSN 0024-4082, more

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Keywords
    Biogeography; Ribosomes; RNA; Specificity; Symbiosis; Anthozoa [WoRMS]; Demospongiae [WoRMS]; Zoanthidea [WoRMS]; Caribbean Region [gazetteer]; Marine

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  • Swain, T.D.

Abstract
    Zoanthids are marine cnidarians with simple morphologies that challenge our ability to delineate species. Phylogenetic analyses of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences are consistent with six morphologically described species from the wider Caribbean region, and reveal four additional species that were not previously recognized. Histological examinations of unidentified species reveal cryptic Isozoanthus and Edwardsiidae (Actiniaria) species. Observations of zoanthids in situ reveal geographic distributions that range from regional to trans-Atlantic. ITS and 16S data are consistent with hypotheses of paraphyly in some higher taxa of zoanthids; however, the clades of zoanthids recovered in both analyses can largely be defined by their host associations, thereby supporting phylogenetic conservatism in zoanthid–host association evolution. The single clear example of a zoanthid switching hosts was accompanied by a compensatory loss of endosymbiosis, which maintained the match in photosynthetic symbioses between zoanthids and sponge hosts.

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