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Global diversity of Ascidiacea.

Shenkar N, Swalla BJ - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: The highest number of species and families is found in the order Aplousobranchia.We emphasize the strong association between species richness and sampling efforts, and discuss the risks of invasive species.Our inventory is certainly incomplete as the ascidian fauna in many areas around the world is relatively poorly known, and many new species continue to be discovered and described each year.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America. nshenkar@u.washington.edu

ABSTRACT
The class Ascidiacea presents fundamental opportunities for research in the fields of development, evolution, ecology, natural products and more. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge regarding the global biodiversity of the class Ascidiacea, focusing in their taxonomy, main regions of biodiversity, and distribution patterns. Based on analysis of the literature and the species registered in the online World Register of Marine Species, we assembled a list of 2815 described species. The highest number of species and families is found in the order Aplousobranchia. Didemnidae and Styelidae families have the highest number of species with more than 500 within each group. Sixty percent of described species are colonial. Species richness is highest in tropical regions, where colonial species predominate. In higher latitudes solitary species gradually contribute more to the total species richness. We emphasize the strong association between species richness and sampling efforts, and discuss the risks of invasive species. Our inventory is certainly incomplete as the ascidian fauna in many areas around the world is relatively poorly known, and many new species continue to be discovered and described each year.

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Ascidian branchial sac structure, a distinguishing taxonomic character.a) A simple branchial arrangement in an aplousobranch (Didemnum sp.). Arrows pointing out the straight stigmata rows. Photo: A. Shoob. Scale bar 1 mm; b) phlebobranch (Ascidia sp.) with longitudinal blood vessels; c) stolidobranch (Herdmania momus) with branchial folds. Photos: N Shenkar. Scale bar 1 mm and 4 mm respectively.
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pone-0020657-g001: Ascidian branchial sac structure, a distinguishing taxonomic character.a) A simple branchial arrangement in an aplousobranch (Didemnum sp.). Arrows pointing out the straight stigmata rows. Photo: A. Shoob. Scale bar 1 mm; b) phlebobranch (Ascidia sp.) with longitudinal blood vessels; c) stolidobranch (Herdmania momus) with branchial folds. Photos: N Shenkar. Scale bar 1 mm and 4 mm respectively.

Mentions: Following the original classification of Lahille [18], the class Ascidiacea is now divided into three orders based on the structure of the adult branchial sac: Aplousobranchia (simple), Phlebobranchia (vascular) and Stolidobranchia (folded) (Fig. 1). This is the current classification used by most ascidian taxonomists that also corresponds to molecular phylogenetic analysis based on the 18S rDNA [7], [19] as opposed to Perrier's [20] division that was based upon the position of the gonads and other morphological considerations and comprised only two orders: Enterogona and PleurogonaAscidians belonging to the order Aplousobranchia are all colonial while the Phlebobranchia and Stolidobranchia include both colonial and solitary species [7].


Global diversity of Ascidiacea.

Shenkar N, Swalla BJ - PLoS ONE (2011)

Ascidian branchial sac structure, a distinguishing taxonomic character.a) A simple branchial arrangement in an aplousobranch (Didemnum sp.). Arrows pointing out the straight stigmata rows. Photo: A. Shoob. Scale bar 1 mm; b) phlebobranch (Ascidia sp.) with longitudinal blood vessels; c) stolidobranch (Herdmania momus) with branchial folds. Photos: N Shenkar. Scale bar 1 mm and 4 mm respectively.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3119061&req=5

pone-0020657-g001: Ascidian branchial sac structure, a distinguishing taxonomic character.a) A simple branchial arrangement in an aplousobranch (Didemnum sp.). Arrows pointing out the straight stigmata rows. Photo: A. Shoob. Scale bar 1 mm; b) phlebobranch (Ascidia sp.) with longitudinal blood vessels; c) stolidobranch (Herdmania momus) with branchial folds. Photos: N Shenkar. Scale bar 1 mm and 4 mm respectively.
Mentions: Following the original classification of Lahille [18], the class Ascidiacea is now divided into three orders based on the structure of the adult branchial sac: Aplousobranchia (simple), Phlebobranchia (vascular) and Stolidobranchia (folded) (Fig. 1). This is the current classification used by most ascidian taxonomists that also corresponds to molecular phylogenetic analysis based on the 18S rDNA [7], [19] as opposed to Perrier's [20] division that was based upon the position of the gonads and other morphological considerations and comprised only two orders: Enterogona and PleurogonaAscidians belonging to the order Aplousobranchia are all colonial while the Phlebobranchia and Stolidobranchia include both colonial and solitary species [7].

Bottom Line: The highest number of species and families is found in the order Aplousobranchia.We emphasize the strong association between species richness and sampling efforts, and discuss the risks of invasive species.Our inventory is certainly incomplete as the ascidian fauna in many areas around the world is relatively poorly known, and many new species continue to be discovered and described each year.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America. nshenkar@u.washington.edu

ABSTRACT
The class Ascidiacea presents fundamental opportunities for research in the fields of development, evolution, ecology, natural products and more. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge regarding the global biodiversity of the class Ascidiacea, focusing in their taxonomy, main regions of biodiversity, and distribution patterns. Based on analysis of the literature and the species registered in the online World Register of Marine Species, we assembled a list of 2815 described species. The highest number of species and families is found in the order Aplousobranchia. Didemnidae and Styelidae families have the highest number of species with more than 500 within each group. Sixty percent of described species are colonial. Species richness is highest in tropical regions, where colonial species predominate. In higher latitudes solitary species gradually contribute more to the total species richness. We emphasize the strong association between species richness and sampling efforts, and discuss the risks of invasive species. Our inventory is certainly incomplete as the ascidian fauna in many areas around the world is relatively poorly known, and many new species continue to be discovered and described each year.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus