2 Works

Response diversity in corals: hidden differences in bleaching mortality among cryptic Pocillopora species

Scott Burgess, Erika Johnston, Alex Wyatt, James Leichter & Peter Edmunds
Variation among functionally similar species in their response to environmental stress buffers ecosystems from changing states. Functionally similar species may often be cryptic species representing evolutionarily distinct genetic lineages that are morphologically indistinguishable. However, the extent to which cryptic species differ in their response to stress, and could therefore provide a source of response diversity, remains unclear because they are often not identified or are assumed to be ecologically equivalent. Here, we uncover differences in...

Niche differences in co-occurring cryptic coral species (Pocillopora spp.)

Erika Johnston, Alex Wyatt, James Leichter & Scott Burgess
Cryptic species that are morphologically similar co-occur because either the rate of competitive exclusion is very slow, or because they are not, in fact, ecologically similar. The processes that maintain cryptic local diversity may, therefore, be particularly subtle and difficult to identify. Here, we uncover differences among several cryptic species in their relative abundance across a depth gradient within a dominant and ecologically important genus of hard coral, Pocillopora. From extensive sampling unbiased towards morphological...

Registration Year

  • 2021

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Florida State University
  • University of California, San Diego
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography