o The Indo-Pacific region was the most diverse. I’ve heard from divers in the Caribbean, for every one species here, there are like, 10 there.
o Past estimates of coral reef diversity ranged from about half a million to over 9 million species
o Less than 2 million species have been identified on land, while estimates of total species have numbered from 3-100 million in the ocean.
o Coral reefs are one of the richest marine environments, but also one of the most threatened
o 75% of the world’s coral reefs are threatened by local and global impacts
o The most common factors being overfishing and pollution
o Some scientists have warned that coral reef ecosystems could be extinct within a hundred years if society doesn’t move forward on environmental issues
o DNA barcoding has become a standardized, cost-effective method of evaluating diversity on tropical coral reefs
o It has the potential for use in global surveys, giving us the ability to find out what is living in the ocean now, and how to keep track of it for the future
o Almost as many crab species on tropical coral reef sections, measuring 6.3 square meters, as in all of Europe’s seas
o DNA barcoding identified 525 crustaceans (168 crab species) from dead coral bits taken from several sites in the tropics, including the Indian, Pacific and Caribbean.
o Over a third of species encountered by researchers were only found once
o 81% of species were only found in one location