Abstract Detail

From High Islands to the Ocean Floor: Pacific Island Plants at the Extreme

Cabrera, Feresa Corazon [1], Huisman, John [2], Smith, Celia [3], Kosaki, Randy [4], Sherwood, Alison [5].

Chronicles of Deep Reef Flowers: Biodiversity, Biogeography, and Adaptations of Hawaiian Mesophotic Expanded Red Blades in the Orders Gigartinales and Halymeniales.

Cryptic diversity, alternating life histories, ecological plasticity, and evolutionary lability of the few morphological characters available for identification of expanded red blades in the Family Kallymeniaceae and Halymeniaceae in the Phylum Rhodophyta have steered multiple studies to focus on a molecular-assisted alpha taxonomy (MAAT) approach to resolving their systematics and taxonomy. The 2010 Rhodophyta Biodiversity Survey of the Hawaiian Islands is among previous Hawaiian work, which included several specimens of these expanded red blades and an in-progress assessment of Hawaiian mesophotic algal communities. As part of the current effort to resolve the taxonomic placement of these expanded red blades, we conducted a molecular survey using multiple gene regions followed by floristic taxonomic treatments to address the taxonomic crisis so prevalent in the group. At least 300 specimens of expanded red blades were collected from shallow and mesophotic depths to contribute to establishing a more comprehensive biodiversity catalog of Hawaiian marine algae. These specimens also provided an opportunity to examine a largely unexplored community at depths as great as 162 m. Our study described six new and presumed endemic Hawaiian species, with several more awaiting description. I present the in-progress molecular survey that points to new species, new records, and several range extensions for the expanded red blades of the Hawaiian Islands that remain to be investigated in detail. The astounding species-level diversity unraveled and resolved in this study is a prerequisite to investigating broad-scale macroevolutionary patterns and highlights the importance of generating an accurate baseline dataset for future monitoring efforts. Finally, I also present insights on what might be driving speciation and adaptation of macroalgae within the confines and depths of the Hawaiian oceanic island chain.

Related Links:
Media press coverage on Hawaiian Mesophotic Algae Research
Full article: Diversity of Kallymeniaceae (Gigartinales, Rhodophyta) associated with Hawaiian mesophotic reefs
Presenting Author Website

1 - University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, School of Life Sciences Department of Botany, 2021 Waiola St., Honolulu, HI, 96826, USA
2 - Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions Biodiversity and Conservation Science, Locked Bag 104 Bentley Delivery Centre, Perth, Western Australia , 6983, Australia
3 - University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, School of Life Sciences Department of Botany, 3190 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI, 96822, USA
4 - Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument at NOAA, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration , Honolulu, HI, USA
5 - 3190 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI, 96822, United States

extreme environment

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Number: S6002
Abstract ID:983
Candidate for Awards:A. J. Sharp Award,Katherine Esau Award,Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Paper,Margaret Menzel Award,Emanuel D. Rudolph Award,Physiological Section Physiological Section Li-COR Prize,Physiological Section Best Paper Presentation

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