The large coral genus Acropora occurs throughout the world's reefs and is potentially a model for evolution and development of modem reef faunas. New research including breeding trials and genetic analyses of sympatric populaÂ tions of Acropora and other corals is suggesting misalignments of breeding, morphological and genetic boundaries such that species limits may be someÂ times narrower, sometimes broader, than presently perceived. Ongoing bioÂ geographic and phylogenetic analyses are reexamining coral species in space and time and generating hypotheses about the origination of species. Synthesis of new findings from these research areas with preliminary insights from molecular data on species boundaries and phylogenies is allowing assessment of the current taxonomic framework of Acropora and of the order Scleractinia. The tacit assumption that currently defined coral species encompass biological, evolutionary, and phylogenetic species concepts may be unfounded. INTRODUCTION The question is, how well do various discontinuities correspond: i.e. are the same sets of organisms delimited by discontinuities when we look at morphology, as when we look at ecology, or breeding? Mishler & Donoghue 1982 0066-4162/94/1120-0237$05.00 WALLACE & WILLIS It is wid/ï¿½spread, abundant, and variable forms, such as these [Acropora]. which are the despair of old-fashioned systematists, but serve
Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics – Annual Reviews
Published: Nov 1, 1994
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