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Title: Evolution of Nemertesia hydroids (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa, Plumulariidae) from the shallow and deep waters of the NE Atlantic and western Mediterranean
Author: Moura, Carlos J.
Cunha, Marina R.
Porteiro, Filipe M.
Yesson, Chris
Rogers, Alex D.
Keywords: Hydrozoa
Molecular taxonomy
Deep-sea biology
Issue Date: Jan-2012
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Abstract: Hydroid species from the genus Nemertesia develop some of the largest and most complex hydrozoan colonies. These colonies are abundant and ecologically important in both shallow and deep waters worldwide. Here, we analyse the systematics of most Nemertesia species from the NE Atlantic and Mediterranean using morphology and phylogenetic inferences of 16S rRNA haplotype data. Phylogeographical analysis revealed multiple movements of taxa to and from the Mediterranean after the Messinian salinity crisis through shallow and deep waters. The nominal species Nemertesia belini and Nemertesia antennina revealed multiple genetic lineages representing cryptic species diversity. Molecular phylogenetic evidence was supported by consistent phenotypic differences between lineages, and three and seven putative species were resolved within the N. belini and N. antennina complexes, respectively. Three putative species of the N. antennina complex found at different seamounts of Azores grouped in a clade clustered amongst the other four cryptic species present at neighbouring bathyal localities of the Gulf of Cadiz. These cryptic species, mostly from the deep sea, form a clade distantly related to the typical N. antennina from European coastal waters. Depth or environmental correlates of depth seem to influence the reproductive strategies of Nemertesia colonies and ultimately speciation. In particular, speciation of these hydroids must have been influenced by hydrography, habitat heterogeneity, isolation by distance and larval dispersal capacity. The deep sea is shown as an important environment in the generation and accumulation of lineages that may occasionally invade coastal waters in the NE Atlantic. Glacial cycles of cooling, along with changes in sea level, and eradication of some coastal faunas likely facilitated speciation and evolutionary transitions from deep to shallow waters.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2011.00503.x
ISSN: 0300-3256
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DBio - Artigos
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