Last species standing: loss of Pocilloporidae corals associated with coastal urbanization in a tropical city state
AuthorsPoquita-Du, Rosa Celia
Quek, Zheng Bin Randolph
Jain, Sudhanshi Sanjeev
Heery, Eliza C.
Chou, Loke Ming
Todd, Peter A.
KAUST DepartmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/631609
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AbstractCoral reefs worldwide are facing multiple severe stressors leading to ecosystem degradation, but local extinctions of species are not well documented. Here, we track the diversity of Pocilloporidae Gray, 1840 coral species—many of which are known to be sensitive to environmental disturbances—on Singapore reefs through time, integrating information from taxonomically verified museum specimens, careful examination of the literature, and DNA sequences. We found that more Pocilloporidae species were detected in the past than at present. A total of five species were historically recorded under Pocillopora Lamarck, 1816; Seriatopora Lamarck, 1816; and Stylophora Schweigger, 1820. Among the five species, only Pocillopora acuta Lamarck, 1816 appears to remain on Singapore reefs. The absence of Seriatopora for over half a century and the recent losses of Stylophora and the other species of Pocillopora are likely caused by habitat loss and other stressors associated with coastal urbanization, which have been further exacerbated by recent bleaching events.
CitationPoquita-Du RC, Quek ZBR, Jain SS, Schmidt-Roach S, Tun K, et al. (2019) Last species standing: loss of Pocilloporidae corals associated with coastal urbanization in a tropical city state. Marine Biodiversity. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12526-019-00939-x.
SponsorsAcknowledgements: We especially thank Chua Keng Soon (LKCNHM) and Stephen Cairns (USNM) for assistance with loans, imaging, and cataloging of specimens. We would also like to acknowledge Sin Tsai Min and Lee Ai Chin Michelle from the Tropical Marine Science Institute for additional information on Pocillopora corals in Singapore reefs. Many thanks to Pang Hui En from Experimental Marine Ecology Laboratory and members of the Reef Ecology Laboratory at the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, for fieldwork and laboratory support. The comments from James Guest, three anonymous reviewers and Associate Editor Bert Hoeksema greatly improved this paper. Funding: This research is supported by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore under its Marine Science Research and Development Programme (Award Nos. MSRDP-P03 and MSRDP-P05).
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Poquita-Du, R. C., Quek, Z. B. R., Jain, S. S., Schmidt-Roach, S., Tun, K. P. P., Heery, E. C., Chou, L. M., Todd, P. A., & Huang, D. (2019). Last species standing: loss of Pocilloporidae corals associated with coastal urbanization in a tropical city state [Data set]. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/ZENODO.2536262. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.2536262 Handle: 10754/662375