Paragorgia arborea is a conspicuous and locally abundant coral species that can grow massive colonies, which can reach up to 8 meters in height and can be hundreds of years old. (NOAA/MBARI)
The bubblegum coral Paragorgia arborea plays an important ecological role generating microhabitats for numerous species; they are the structural analog of large trees in a rain forest. (NOAA/MBARI)
"The observed genetic diversity patterns, and the inferred evolutionary history of origin and spread of Paragorgia arborea could explain the current distribution patterns of many other marine taxa, for example deep-sea coral symbionts, such as brittle stars and squat lobsters, and thus might have played an important role shaping existing deep-sea faunal diversity," says Herrera.
This research was based on work supported by the Global Census of Marine Life on Seamounts Project (CenSeam), the Facultad de Ciencias - Department of Biological Sciences of the Universidad de los Andes, the National Systematics Laboratory of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, the Smithsonian Institution, the Systematics Association, the Linnean Society of London, and the Sigma Xi Research Society.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the oceans and their interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the oceans' role in the changing global environment.
Originally published: October 23, 2012
WHOI Media Relations Office | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > Andes Mountains > Atlantic mollies > Deep-sea > Forum Life Science > Genetic clues > Marine science > Oceanographic Institution > Pacific coral > Paragorgia > WHOI > Woods Hole Oceanographic > deep-sea species > genetic composition > genetic diversity > marine organisms > southern hemisphere > subtropical region
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