On the genus Crossaster (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) and its distribution

Autoři: Halldis Ringvold aff001;  Truls Moum aff002
Působiště autorů: Sea Snack Norway, Bergen, Norway aff001;  Genomics Division, Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture, Nord University, Bodø, Norway aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227223


Several starfish (Echinodermata, Asteroidea) are keystone species of marine ecosystems, but some of the species are difficult to identify using morphological criteria only. The common sunstar, Crossaster papposus (Linnaeus, 1767), is a conspicuous species with a wide circumboreal distribution. In 1900, a closely similar species, C. squamatus (Döderlein, 1900) was described from the NE Atlantic Ocean, but subsequent authors have differed in their views on whether this is a valid taxon or rather an ecotype associated with temperature variations. We assessed the differentiating morphological characters of specimens from Norwegian and Greenland waters identified as C. papposus and C. squamatus and compared their distributions in the NE Atlantic as inferred from research cruises. The field data show that C. papposus is found mainly in temperate and shallow waters, whereas C. squamatus resides on the shelf-break in colder, mixed water masses. Intraspecific diversity and interspecific genetic differentiation of the two putative species, and their phylogenetic relationships to several Crossaster congeners worldwide, were explored using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences. The molecular evidence suggests that C. papposus is the more diverse and geographically structured taxon, in line with its wide distribution. C. papposus and C. squamatus are closely related, yet clearly distinct taxa, while C. papposus and C. multispinus H.L. Clark, 1916, the latter from the South Pacific Ocean, are closely related, possibly sister taxa.

Klíčová slova:

Animal phylogenetics – DNA sequence analysis – Islands – Mitochondria – Phylogenetic analysis – Phylogenetics – Phylogeography – Starfish


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