James D. Reimer
Received: 4 July 2016 /Revised: 29 August 2016 /Accepted: 31 August 2016 /Published online: 16 September 2016
Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016
Abstract This report presents the first records of the
zooxanthellate species Zoanthus sansibaricus (Anthozoa:
Hexacorallia: Zoantharia: Zoanthidae) from Jeju Island,
Korea, in the East China Sea, and from Dogo-jima Island
in the Oki Islands, Japan, in the Sea of Japan (= East Sea).
Its discovery at Jeju Island also represents the first formal
record of the order Zoantharia from Korea, while the record
from Dogo-jima Island is the first from the Sea of Japan.
These two records greatly expand the recorded range of this
widespread species, suggesting that it is highly tolerant of
winter sea surface temperatures as low as 11.5 °C.
Additionally, these records will provide important range limit
information to compare with future findings in the face of
global warming and predicted northward expansion of ben-
thic zooxanthellate species.
Global climate change is expected to have various impacts on
marine ecosystems and their inhabitants in the coming de-
cades. Some zooxanthellate scleractinian corals and other or-
ganisms in symbioses with Symbiodinium spp. are expected to
be particularly hard-hit due to their lack of thermal tolerance to
abnormally high seawater temperatures and additional weak-
ness against other stressors (Carpenter et al. 2008; Madin et al.
2016). At the same time, as global seawater temperatures rise,
it is expected that some zooxanthellate species will expand
their ranges to higher latitudes as new habitats become avail-
able (= warmer) (Yamano et al. 2011). Thus, shifts of ranges
into higher latitudes may serve as ‘refugia’ of sorts for some
zooxanthellate species as escape from bleaching driven by
rising sea surface temperatures in lower latitudes (Yamano
et al. 2011). Indeed, poleward range shifts for some
zooxanthellate corals have already been seen on the west coast
of Australia (Greenstein and Pandolfi 2008).
Thus, in order to document possible expansions of tropical
and/or zooxanthellate marine animals into higher latitudes, a
clear understanding of the current range limits is needed for
many of these species. While such records exist for tropical
fishes (e.g. Nakamura et al. 2013; Vergés et al. 2014), sea
urchins (Paz-García et al. 2016) and scleractinian corals (e.g.
Denis et al. 2013, 2015; Hoeksema 2015; Paz-García and
Balart 2016), records and lists for other zooxanthellate taxa
are often scarce and data-deficient.
One common group of zooxanthellate animals for which
some data exist in Japan is the encrusting reef zoantharians of
the genus Zoanthus.Previously,thespeciesZ. sansibaricus
Communicated by B. W. Hoeksema
* James D. Reimer
Molecular Invertebrate Systematics and Ecology Laboratory,
Graduate School of Engineering and Science, University of the
Ryukyus, Senbaru 1, Nishihara, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan
Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus,
Senbaru 1, Nishihara, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan
School of Marine Biomedical Science, Jeju National University, 102
Jejudaehakno, 690-756 Jeju, South Korea
Ocean Climate & Ecology Research Division, National Institute of
Fisheries Science, Busan 46083, South Korea
Marine Algae Research Co., Ltd., Minatozaka 3-9-4,
Kasuya-gun, Fukuoka 811-0114, Japan
Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, 128 Academia
Road, Section 2, Nangang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan
Mar Biodiv (2018) 48:1269–1273
Hexacorallia: Zoantharia) from Korea and Japan (East) Sea