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To be or not to be endangered? Listing of rare Hawaiian coral species called into question
Date:12/2/2010

ps. Therefore, according to the genes and surface texture, this study revealed two previously unknown species complexes in Hawai'i; showing that corals previously thought to be very rare may interbreed with more common species. Dr. Zac Forsman at HIMB led the investigation, when asked about the recent discovery, he stated, "The scale of variation that corresponds to the species-level is not well understood in a lot of stony corals; this is a big problem for taxonomy and conservation. We need to determine if these species complexes contain species that are in the early process of forming, or if they just represent variation within a species. Either way, it could change our understanding of coral biodiversity." Co-author Dr. Rob Toonen added "this study builds on previous work by Forsman and colleagues showing that species designations in the coral genus Porites were not well-defined, either. As more studies like this are coming out, we are getting a clear picture that we don't really know which coral species names are valid and which are just different growth forms of common species."


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Contact: Carlie Wiener
cwiener@hawaii.edu
647-296-0491
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Source:Eurekalert  

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To be or not to be endangered? Listing of rare Hawaiian coral species called into question
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