skip to main content

Title: Taxonomic determination of the cryptogenic red alga, Chondria tumulosa sp. nov., (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta) from Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Hawai‘i, USA: A new species displaying invasive characteristics
Survey cruises by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2016 and 2019 yielded specimens of an undetermined red alga that rapidly attained alarming levels of benthic coverage at Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Hawai‘i. By 2019 the seaweed had covered large expanses on the northeast side of the atoll with mat-like, extensive growth of entangled thalli. Specimens were analyzed using light microscopy and molecular analysis, and were compared to morphological descriptions in the literature for closely related taxa. Light microscopy demonstrated that the specimens likely belonged to the rhodomelacean genus Chondria, yet comparisons to taxonomic literature revealed no morphological match. DNA sequence analyses of the mitochondrial COI barcode marker, the plastidial rbcL gene, and the nuclear SSU gene confirmed its genus-level placement and demonstrated that this alga was unique compared to all other available sequences. Based on these data, this cryptogenic seaweed is here proposed as a new species: Chondria tumulosa A.R.Sherwood & J.M.Huisman sp. nov. Chondria tumulosa is distinct from all other species of Chondria based on its large, robust thalli, a mat-forming tendency, large axial diameter in mature branches (which decreases in diameter with subsequent orders of branching), terete axes, and bluntly rounded apices. Although C. tumulosa does not meet the criteria for the definition of an invasive species more » given that it has not been confirmed as introduced to Pearl and Hermes Atoll, this seaweed is not closely related to any known Hawaiian native species and is of particular concern given its sudden appearance and rapid increase in abundance in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument; an uninhabited, remote, and pristine island chain to the northwest of the Main Hawaiian Islands. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1754117
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10226447
Journal Name:
PloS one
Volume:
15
Issue:
7
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
e0234358
ISSN:
1932-6203
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Haraldiophyllum hawaiiense sp. nov. is described as a new mesophotic alga and a new genus record for the Hawaiian Islands. Six specimens were collected at a depth range of 81-93 m from Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, and their morphology investigated, as well as molecular phylogenetic analyses of the plastidial ribulose-1,5- bisphosphate carboxylase–oxygenase large-subunit (rbcL) gene and a concatenated alignment of rbcL and nuclear large-subunit rRNA gene (LSU) sequences. Phylogenetic analyses supported H. hawaiiense sp. nov. as a distinct lineage within the genus Haraldiophyllum, and sister to a large clade containing the type species, H. bonnemaisonii, as well as H. crispatummore »and an undescribed European specimen. The six Hawaiian specimens were shown to be identical, but unique among other species of the genus as well as the recently segregated genus Neoharaldiophyllum, which comprises half of the species previously included in Haraldiophyllum. The vegetative morphology of H. hawaiiense sp. nov. resembles Neoharaldiophyllum udoense (formerly H. udoensis); however, no female or post-fertilization structures were found in the Hawaiian specimens to allow a more comprehensive comparison. The molecular phylogenies demonstrate that Haraldiophyllum is paraphyletic, suggesting either that the Myriogrammeae tribe includes undescribed genera, including Haraldiophyllum sensu stricto, or that Neoharaldiophyllum species should be transferred into the genus Haraldiophyllum. However, based on vegetative morphology and molecular analyses, and pending resolution of this taxonomic issue, the Hawaiian specimens are placed within the genus Haraldiophyllum. This new record for the Hawaiian Islands highlights the novel biodiversity from mesophotic depths, reaffirming the need for further investigation into the biodiversity of Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems.« less
  2. Specimens of red algae corresponding to the peyssonnelioid genus Sonderophycus were collected at Kure Atoll, Hawai‘i, at a depth range of 88-94 m depth during mesophotic surveys of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Hawaiian Islands, and were analyzed using morphological and molecular approaches. Analyses of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 and chloroplast rbcL DNA sequences demonstrated that the Hawaiian specimens were identical to one another yet distinct from the three other species currently recognized within the genus (S. capensis [Montagne] M. J. Wynne, S. coriaceus [Womersley & Sinkora] M. J. Wynne, and S. fervens Dixon), as well as the likelymore »congener, Peyssonnelia caulifera Okamura, and are proposed here as a new species: Sonderophycus copusii A. R. Sherwood. Sonderophycus copusii is morphologically distinct from other members of the genus by the following combination of characters: the presence of occasional secondary perithallial growth, emergence of rhizoids from the hypobasal cuticle at a strongly acute angle, a lack of horizontally directed filaments in the lower perithallus, and the lack of a stipe. This is the first record of the genus Sonderophycus in the Hawaiian Islands. Sonderophycus copusii was documented as a dominant member of the algal community at Kure Atoll, and thus may play a significant ecological role in the deep-water benthic community of Kure Atoll, along the lines of reports of deep water peyssonnelioid beds in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, and Caribbean. This study further highlights the unexplored diversity of the Peyssonneliales in Hawai‘i, and emphasizes more generally the degree of as yet undiscovered biodiversity of algae at mesophotic depths.« less
  3. Small red algal morphologically variable blades have been extensively collected from Hawaiian reefs, but for many specimens their taxonomy remains poorly understood. In surveys of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) and Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI), we discovered two taxa of undescribed small (< 5 cm) red blades that matched the genera Psaromenia and Meredithia, based on morphology and molecular analyses. Neither genus has been previously recorded in the Hawaiian Islands, and neither group of specimens matched currently described species in these two genera. Accordingly, these specimens are described here as new species within the family Kallymeniaceae. Psaromenia laulamaula sp.more »nov., exclusively found at mesophotic depths (83–94 m) in PMNM, is easily distinguished from other members of the genus by its comparatively large, procarpic carpogonial branch system and solitary obovate pink-tomagenta blades. Conversely, Meredithia hawaiiensis sp. nov., occurring in both shallow (0–17 m) and mesophotic depths (55 m), has high morphological plasticity, with characters that overlap with other Meredithia species, and can only be distinguished based on DNA sequences. This study provides additional evidence of the extent of diversity in the Kallymeniaceae that is poorly characterized from mesophotic depths and provides further evidence that members of the macroalgal flora contain overlooked biodiversity.« less
  4. Included among the currently recognized 23 species of combtooth blennies of the genus Cirripectes (Blenniiformes: Blenniidae) of the Indo-Pacific are the Hawaiian endemic C. vanderbilti , and the widespread C. variolosus . During the course of a phylogeographic study of these species, a third species was detected, herein described as C. matatakaro . The new species is distinguished primarily by the configuration of the pore structures posterior to the lateral centers of the transverse row of nuchal cirri in addition to 12 meristic characters and nine morphometric characters documented across 72 specimens and ∼4.2% divergence in mtDNA cytochrome oxidase subunitmore »I. The new species is currently known only from the Marquesas, Gambier, Pitcairns, Tuamotus, and Australs in the South Pacific, and the Northern Line Islands and possibly Johnston Atoll south of Hawaiʻi. Previous researchers speculated that the geographically widespread C. variolosus was included in an unresolved trichotomy with the Hawaiian endemic and other species based on a morphological phylogeny. Our molecular-phylogenetic analysis resolves many of the previously unresolved relationships within the genus and reveals C. matatakaro as the sister lineage to the Hawaiian C. vanderbilti . The restricted geographic distribution of Cirripectes matatakaro combines with its status as sister to C. vanderbilti to indicate a southern pathway of colonization into Hawaiʻi.« less
  5. On November 6, 2015, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) weather buoy was reported to be stranded on Neva Shoal, southeast of Kapou (Lisianski) Island in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). The buoy mooring consisted of 13.72 m of 2.54 cm chain, 365.76 m of 2.54 cm wire, and nearly 2,438.40 m of 2.54 cm nylon mooring line. The buoy broke free from its assigned station 394.29 km northeast of Honolulu on March 10, 2013. The buoy continued to transmit information and drifted northeast before reversing course and drifting into Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monumentmore »(PMNM) where it ran aground on the Neva Shoal in about 12.19 m of water in an area of high coral cover. Following the initial stranding in November 2015, the buoy moved more than 1.93 km in a southwesterly direction, most likely caused by larger swell events. The intermittent movement was due to a portion of the mooring being still attached to the buoy and dragging along the benthic substrate. The total damage caused by the dragging chain was significant and spread over a large spatial area. The buoy was recovered by the F/V Lady Alice on May 26, 2016. Researchers on the NOAA Rapid Assessment and Monitoring Program expedition surveyed the reef locations where the buoy was stranded after the removal of the buoy. Researchers were able to visit the last two recorded locations at which the buoy was stranded on May 7 and 8, 2016. Overlapping imagery was collected from the areas exhibiting damage from the buoy mooring. The images were processed using Structure-from-Motion photogrammetry to create 3D reconstructions of the affected coral reef habitats. The resulting 3D models and orthophotomosaics were analyzed with geospatial software to accurately quantify the impacts from the buoy stranding at these two locations. Utilizing this innovative methodology provides a useful visual and quantitative method for assessing the impacts and damage associated with grounding damage on coral reef habitats.« less