Ecological Archives E094-150-D1

Terry P. Hughes, Sean R. Connolly, and Sally A. Keith. 2013. Geographic ranges of reef corals (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia) in the Indo-Pacific. Ecology 94:1659. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/13-0361.1


Metadata

Class I. Data set descriptors

A. Data set identity: A spatial database of range boundaries for 726 Indo-Pacific scleractinian coral species.

B. Data set identification code: Indo-Pacific Coral Range Boundaries.RData

C. Data set description

Geographic range boundaries for Indo-Pacific (23°E to 106°W, 40°N to 41°S) reef-building scleractinian corals (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia), including 726 species from 17 families (Acroporidae, Agariciidae, Astrocoeniidae, Caryophylliidae, Dendrophylliidae, Euphyllidae, Faviidae, Fungiidae, Meandrinidae, Merulinidae, Oculinidae, Pocilloporidae, Poritidae, Mussidae, Pectiniidae, Siderastreidae, and Trachyphylliidae). Range boundaries are recorded in an RData S4 class object as polyline features with an attribute table. The attribute table identifies each species and genus and the coordinates of their range boundaries.

Principal Investigators:

Terry P. Hughes
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811
Australia
E-mail: terry.hughes@jcu.edu.au

Sean R. Connolly
School of Marine and Tropical Biology
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811,
Australia
E-mail: sean.connolly@jcu.edu.au

Sally Keith
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811,
Australia
E-mail: sally.keith@jcu.edu.au

Abstract: Information on geographic ranges and the location of range boundaries of individual species is key to studies of biogeography, evolution, macroecology, and conservation biology. Traditionally, marine biogeography has emphasized patterns in contours of species or generic richness, based on counts of species collected from different locations. To understand more fully why these and other patterns occur requires data on the geographic extent of individual species, and how their ranges overlap. We compiled a spatial database of geographic range boundaries from the primary literature and from our own records for Indo-Pacific reef-building scleractinian corals (726 species in 17 families: Acroporidae, Agariciidae, Astrocoeniidae, Caryophylliidae, Dendrophylliidae, Euphyllidae, Faviidae, Fungiidae, Meandrinidae, Merulinidae, Oculinidae, Pocilloporidae, Poritidae, Mussidae, Pectiniidae, Siderastreidae, and Trachyphylliidae). Corals have strongly skewed range distributions, with many species being pandemics. The data show little support for Rapoportís Rule (smaller ranges near the equator), or for the more general hypothesis that range sizes are smaller, on average, where species richness peaks. The unusual disparity between species richness and endemicity in locations such as the Coral Triangle hotspot challenges conservation priorities that tend to focus on hotspots and neglect depauperate locations. The empirically observed locations of ranges diverge from predictions of mid-domain models in ways that are consistent with the hypothesis that westward-flowing equatorial currents influence the species distributions of Indo-Pacific corals. The spatial database also can be used to examine species turnover at faunal boundaries, facilitating new studies that can explore barriers to dispersal and the evolution of geographic range size.

D. Key words: coral triangle hotspot; corals; endemics; geographic range; Indo-Pacific; pandemics; range boundaries; species richness.

Class II. Research origin descriptors

A. Overall description

Identity: A spatial database of geographic range boundaries of Indo-Pacific corals: Indo-Pacific Coral Range Boundaries.RData

Methods: We compiled a spatial database of geographic range boundaries for 732 species of Indo-Pacific reef-building scleractinian corals using published range maps, species lists, and observations from field surveys by T. Hughes. The published range maps and species lists were drawn from the 50 publications in the Source reference list for the spatial database, below. Data on species occurrence recorded in reef surveys undertaken by T. Hughes (in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Britain, New Ireland, the Great Barrier Reef, Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, the Solomon Islands, American Samoa, and French Polynesia) were also used to confirm or extend the published boundaries of 333 species. Range boundaries of each species were mapped and digitized as ESRI shapefiles in ArcView ver. 3.3 (ESRI 2002), using a WGS84 projection with a custom prime meridian of 160°W (centered on Hawaii). Using ArcGIS ver. 10 (ESRI 2011), ESRI shapefile data were converted to RData format using the rgdal package (Keitt et al. 2012) in R statistical software (R Development Core Team 2011). The spatial database consists of one RData S4 class file containing 726 polyline features with an attribute table. The attribute table identifies each species and genus and the coordinates of their range boundaries.

Data set usage history: An initial analysis using a large part of these data on geographic ranges of coral species was reported in Hughes et al. (2002). It identified patterns of species richness and endemicity in Indo-Pacific Corals, showing that richness hotspots have proportionately few endemics compared to depauperate regions. The data show little support for Rapoport’s Rule (smaller ranges near the equator), or for the more general hypothesis that range sizes are smaller, on average, where species richness peaks. The unusual disparity between richness and endemicity arises because corals have strongly skewed range distributions, with many species being pandemics. Overlap of the geographic ranges of individual species generates peaks in species richness near the equator and the central Indo-Pacific biodiversity hotspot, with only minor contributions from endemics. We compared these patterns to reef fishes, which have smaller ranges and proportionately more endemics (Hughes et al. 2002). In a subsequent paper, we used the empirical data on the latitudinal and longitudinal range limits of coral species in the database to test the predictions of a mid-domain model, i.e., the extent to which randomly overlapping ranges generate peak species richness near the equator and in the central Indo-Pacific (Connolly et al. 2003). A third publication examined the environmental and geometric constraints on species richness of corals, using the estimated species richness at locations throughout the Indo-Pacific, based on overlapping ranges in the database (Bellwood et al. 2005). Connolly (2009) analysed species richness contours and latitudinal richness gradients of corals, using the database to test macroecological theory. Keith et al. (in review) uses the database to identify concordance in range endpoints among species, which creates distinct faunal boundaries and provinces across the Indo-Pacific. This study also examined why some species reach their geographic limits at faunal boundaries, while others do not.

.

Source reference list for the spatial database:

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  2. Bouchon, C. 1981. Quantitative study of the Scleractinian coral communities of a fringing reef of Reunion Island (Indian Ocean). Marine Ecology Progress Series 4:273.
  3. Brown, B. E., M. C. Holley, L. Sya’rani, and M. Le Tissier. 1983. Coral assemblages of reef flats around Pualau Pari, Thousand Island, Indonesia. Atoll Research Bulletin 281:1.
  4. Cairns, S. D. Stony corals (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa, Scleractinia) of Carrie Bow Cay, Belize. In K. Rutzler, and I. G. MacIntyre, editors. 1982. The Atlantic barrier reef ecosystem at Carrie Bow Cay, Belize. Vol. I. Structure and communities. Smithsonian Contributions to Marine Science 12:271.
  5. Chevalier, J. P. Les scléractiniaires de la Mélanésie Française (Nouvelle-Calédonie, Iles Chesterfield, Iles Loyauté, Nouvelles-Hebrides). 1971. I Expédition Française sur les récifs coralliens de la Nouvelle-Caledonie. Singer-Polignac, Paris. 5:1.
  6. Chevalier, J. P. Les scléractiniaires de la Mélanésie Française (Nouvelle-Calédonie, Iles Chesterfield, Iles Loyauté, Nouvelles-Hebrides). 1975. II Expédition Française sur les récifs coralliens de la Nouvelle-Caledonie. Singer-Polignac, Paris. 7:1.
  7. Chou, L. M., and Y. H. Teo. 1985. An ecological study on the scleractinian corals of Pulau, Salu Reef, Singapore. Asian Marine Biology 2:11.
  8. Coles, S. 1996. Corals of Oman. Keech, Samdani and Coles, Thorns, UK. 106pp
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  12. Dai, C. F. 1989. Scleractinia of Taiwan. I. Families Astrocoeniidae and Pocilloporidae. Acta Oceanographica Taiwanica 22:83.
  13. Dai, C. F., and C. H. Lin. 1992. Scleractinia of Taiwan. III Family Agariciidae. Acta Oceanog Taiwanica 28:80–101.
  14. Gibbs, P. E., H. G. Vevers, and D. R. Stoddart. 1975. Marine fauna of the Cook Islands: check-list of species collected during the Cook Bicentenary expedition in 1969. In D. R. Stoddart and P. E. Gibbs, editors. Almost-Atoll of Aitutaki, reef studies in the Cook Islands, South Pacific. Atoll Research Bulletin 190:133.
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  23. Hoeksema, B. W., and C. F. Dai. 1991. Scleractinia of Taiwan. II. Family Fungiidae (including a new species). Bulletin of the Institute of Zoology Academia Sinica (Taipei) 30:203.
  24. Lamberts, A. E. 1983. An annotated checklist of the corals of American Samoa. Atoll Res. Bull. 264:1.
  25. Maragos, J. E. 1994. Description of reefs for the 1988 protected area survey of the Northern Marshall Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 419:1.
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  28. Nemenzo, F. 1986. Corals. Guide to Philippine flora and fauna. Corals. Univ. Philippines 273pp.
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  30. Paulay, G. 1989. Marine invertebrates of the Pitcairn Islands. Species composition and biogeography of corals, molluscs and echinoderms. Atoll Research Bulletin 326:1.
  31. Pichon, M. 1978. Recherches sur les plements à dominance d’anthozoaires dans les récifs corallines de Tuléar (Madagascar). Atoll Research Bulletin 222:1.
  32. Pichon, M. 1985. Scleractinia. In G. Richard, editor. Récifs coralliens de Polynésie Française.  Proceedings of the Fifth International Coral Reef Congress, Tahiti (Antenne Museum – EPHE, Moorea). 1:390.
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  34. Pillai, C. S. G. 1971a. Composition of the coral fauna of the southeastern coast of India and the Laccadives. In D. R. Stoddart and C. M. Yonge, editors. Regional variation in Indian Ocean coral reefs. Symposia of the Zoological Society of London 28:301.
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  38. Rosen, B. R. 1971. Annotated check list and bibliography of corals of the Chagos Archipelago (including the recent collection from Diego Garcia) with remarks on their distribution. Atoll Research Bulletin 149:67.
  39. Scott, P. J. B. 1984. The Corals of Hong Kong (Hong Kong University Press), Hong Kong, 112pp.
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Class III. Data set status and accessibility

A. Status

Latest update: 2012

B. Accessibility

Storage location and medium: Ecological Society of America data archives, URL published in each issue of its journals.

Contact person:

Terry P. Hughes
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University
Townsville
QLD 4811
Australia
E-mail: terry.hughes@jcu.edu.au

Copyright restrictions: None.

Proprietary restrictions: None.

Costs: None.

Class IV. Structure of data file

Identity: Geographic range boundaries of Indo-Pacific scleractinian coral species

Size: 726 species polyline features; 535 KB

Format and storage mode: RData S4 class object

Quick access code for R: Replace italics as appropriate

  setwd(“your working directory”)
install.packages(‘rgdal’)
library(rgdal)
load(‘Indo-Pacific Coral Range Boundaries.RData’)
plot(IPcoralrangeboundaries)
attributes(IPcoralrangeboundaries)$data

Acknowledgments

We thank Marie Kaspartov, Mia Hoogenboom, Ailsa Kerswell, and Mizue Hisano for research assistance. We are also grateful to the Australian Research Council and James Cook University for supporting the assembly and analyses of these data.

Literature cited

Bellwood, D. R., T. P. Hughes, S. R. Connolly, and J. Tanner. 2005. Environmental and geometric constraints on Indo-Pacific coral reef biodiversity. Ecology Letters, 8:643-651.

Connolly, S. R., D. R. Bellwood, and T. P. Hughes. 2003. Indo-Pacific biodiversity of coral reefs: deviations from a mid-domain model.  Ecology 84:2178-2190.

Connolly, S. R. 2009. Macroecological theory and the analysis of species richness gradients. Pages 279-309 in Witman, J. and K. Roy, editors. Marine Macroecology. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

ESRI. 2002. ArcView version 3.3. Environmental Systems Research Institute Redlands, California.

ESRI. 2011. ArcGIS Desktop version 10. Environmental Systems Research Institute Redlands, California.

Hughes, T. P., D. R. Bellwood, and S. R. Connolly.  2002. Biodiversity hotspots, centers of endemicity, and the conservation of coral reefs.  Ecology Letters 5:775-784.

Keith, S. A., A. H. Baird, J. S. Madin, T. P. Hughes, and S. R. Connolly. In Press. Faunal breaks and species composition of Indo-Pacific corals: the role of plate tectonics, environment, and habitat distribution.

Keitt, T. H., R. Bivand, E. Pebesma, and B. Rowlingson. 2012. rgdal: Bindings for the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library. R package version 0.7-11. http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=rgdal.

R Development Core Team. 2011. R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. In R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.


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