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A multilocus species delimitation reveals a striking number of species of coralline algae forming maerl in the OSPAR maritime area
Pardo, C; Lopez, L; Peña, V.; Hernandez-Kantun, J; Le Gall, L; Barbara, I; Barreiro, R (2014). A multilocus species delimitation reveals a striking number of species of coralline algae forming maerl in the OSPAR maritime area. PLoS One 9(8): -.
In: PLoS One. Public Library of Science: San Francisco. ISSN 1932-6203; e-ISSN 1932-6203, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Marine Sciences
    Marine Sciences > Biodiversity
    Marine Sciences > Marine Genomics
    Scientific Community
    Scientific Publication
    Lithothamnion corallioides (P.Crouan & H.Crouan) P.Crouan & H.Crouan, 1867 [WoRMS]; Lithothamnion glaciale Kjellman, 1883 [WoRMS]; Phymatolithon calcareum (Pallas) W.H.Adey & D.L.McKibbin ex Woelkering & L.M.Irvine, 1986 [WoRMS]

Project Top | Authors 
  • Association of European marine biological laboratories, more

Authors  Top 
  • Pardo, C
  • Lopez, L
  • Peña, V., more
  • Hernandez-Kantun, J
  • Le Gall, L
  • Barbara, I
  • Barreiro, R

    Maerl beds are sensitive biogenic habitats built by an accumulation of loose-lying, non-geniculate coralline algae. While these habitats are considered hot-spots of marine biodiversity, the number and distribution of maerl-forming species is uncertain because homoplasy and plasticity of morphological characters are common. As a result, species discrimination based on morphological features is notoriously challenging, making these coralline algae the ideal candidates for a DNA barcoding study. Here, mitochondrial (COI-5P DNA barcode fragment) and plastidial (psbA gene) sequence data were used in a two-step approach to delimit species in 224 collections of maerl sampled from Svalbard (78°96’N) to the Canary Islands (28°64’N) that represented 10 morphospecies from four genera and two families. First, the COI-5P dataset was analyzed with two methods based on distinct criteria (ABGD and GMYC) to delineate 16 primary species hypotheses (PSHs) arranged into four major lineages. Second, chloroplast (psbA) sequence data served to consolidate these PSHs into 13 secondary species hypotheses (SSHs) that showed biologically plausible ranges. Using several lines of evidence (e.g. morphological characters, known species distributions, sequences from type and topotype material), six SSHs were assigned to available species names that included the geographically widespread Phymatolithon calcareum, Lithothamnion corallioides, and L. glaciale; possible identities of other SSHs are discussed. Concordance between SSHs and morphospecies was minimal, highlighting the convenience of DNA barcoding for an accurate identification of maerl specimens. Our survey indicated that a majority of maerl forming species have small distribution ranges and revealed a gradual replacement of species with latitude

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