Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Coevolution in Marine Systems

Author
item Hoberg, Eric

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 12, 2004
Publication Date: January 8, 2005
Citation: Hoberg, E.P. 2005. Coevolution in marine systems, Chapter 8, Coevolution and Sepciation. In: K. Rohde ed. CSIRO, Sydney Australia. pp. 327-339.

Interpretive Summary: Parasites represent nearly 50% of the organisms that live on this planet. They represent a substantial facet of biodiversity that remains to be documented completely. As we continue to reveal previously unknown species, we seek to place them in an evolutionary context, and for parasites this is achieved by concurrent studies of host and parasite coevolution. Elucidation of pattern and process in the origin and maintenance of biodiversity in marine systems follows from studies that integrate phylogenetic approaches and an historical context for biogeography and ecology. Phylogeny-based approaches are powerful because hierarchical order constrains the range of explanations for faunal structure and history in a comparative context linking host and parasite taxa. Parasites constitute exquisite phylogenetic and historical ecological indicators that reveal substantial insights into the history of the marine biosphere. Such studies also serve as significant models to understand the generality for evolutionary mechanisms in terrestrial environments, and among natural and historically domesticated hosts. Understanding the complexity of evolutionary linkages among parasites and hosts contributes to a powerful predictive framework. Basic information is apparent that we can use to recognize the potential for exchange of parasites among different hosts or geographic regions and the concurrent possibilities for emergence of disease.

Technical Abstract: Parasite faunas characteristic of marine invertebrates and vertebrates have been assembled through an intricate interaction of history, ecology and geography, as the determinants of organismal evolution and distribution. Elucidation of pattern and process in the origin and maintenance of biodiversity in marine systems follows from studies that integrate phylogenetic approaches and an historical context for biogeography and ecology. Phylogeny-based approaches are powerful because hierarchical order constrains the range of explanations for faunal structure and history in a comparative context linking host and parasite taxa. Parasites constitute exquisite phylogenetic and historical ecological indicators that reveal substantial insights into the history of the marine biosphere. Phylogenetic hypotheses for hosts and parasites are the tapestry and for revealing the interaction of coevolutionary processes in shaping patterns of biodiversity, faunal structure, ecological continuity, and persistence across deep temporal and geographic scales in the marine environment. Such studies also serve as significant models to understand the generality for evolutionary mechanisms in terrestrial environments, and among natural and historically domesticated hosts.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page