[Coral-List] Source for "coral occupy <1% of the seafloor but house more than 25% of species"

Hanny Rivera hrivera28 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 11 03:25:54 UTC 2020

Hi all!

A while back, I had written asking for help tracking down the source for
this statement. Thank you to all who responded and helped! There were a
number of folks who also asked me to let them know what I found. Sorry for
the long delay! A recent twitter post reminded me I hadn't followed up.

Anyways: The original reference (at least the most original that I could
find) is McAllister 1991. I had to do a lot of digging to find the actual
paper, though I finally came across it here:
As you might see, it's not entirely clear where the numbers come from

Dan Barshis
had pointed me to Smith 1978 (https://www.nature.com/articles/273225a0) as
a more viable source for the area estimation (though it's a bit outdated) and
Fisher et al 2015 (
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982214016236) as a
reference for species richness on reefs.

A more recent area estimate is Spalding et al. 2001 (
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X17300635) which
was pointed out to me by Dennis Allemand

Dennis Allemand also has several other references for species #s that live
on reefs in his paper (
on page 2.

Thanks again all! Hope this is helpful for folks going forward.

Best, Hanny

Hanny E. Rivera, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer
Boston University, Biology Department
Davies Marine Population Genomics Lab

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