KIOST discovers Paracyathus rotundatus, an unrecorded species belonging to the Caryophylliidae family, in the waters of Dokdo
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- Date : 2023-08-17
The Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST, President Kang Do-hyung) announced that it discovered an unrecorded species belonging to the Caryophylliidae family in waters southwest of Dokdo Island. It gave the species a Korean name that translates to “round-cup stony coral” (Paracyathus rotundatus), and reported it to a Korean academic journal.*
* KIOST, Sim Su Hwan, et al., April 2023, Animal Systematics, Evolution and Diversity (ASED) (thesis title: A New Record of Solitary Coral, Paracyathus rotundatus (Anthozoa: Scleractinia: Caryophylliidae), from Korea)
A research team led by KIOST’s Dr. Min Won-gi, along with a research team of Woosuk University’s Professor Hwang Sung-jin, discovered Paracyathus rotundatus, an unrecorded species of Korea, at a depth of seven meters in waters southwest of Dokdo Island in August 2022. An unrecorded species is a species that was already discovered in foreign countries but found in Korea for the first time.
The research team analyzed the shape and molecular biological characteristics of the discovered species and classified it as a coral belonging to the Caryophylliidae family with the scientific name Paracyathus rotundatus. They gave it a Korean name meaning “round-cup stony coral,” as it looks like an inverted cone, and reported it to a Korean academic society, making them the first in Korea to do so.
This stony coral was first discovered in 1872 in Lapinig, Samar, eastern Philippines, and although its main habitat is tropical seas, it was discovered in waters near Dokdo Island, far north of such tropical waters.
In addition, the research team discovered the rare subtropical species Doryrhamphus japonicus and clown triggerfish in the waters off Dokdo Island in 2021 and 2022, respectively. This suggests that the marine ecosystem of Dokdo is being significantly impacted by tropical and subtropical environments.
This discovery was achieved under KIOST’s task titled “Research on the sustainable use of Dokdo” (manager: Park Chan Hong, head of Dokdo Research Center). The discovery of a species not previously found in domestic waters bears significance in that it can help Korea secure sovereignty over its marine biological resources and help assess the degree of change in the marine environment.
KIOST President Kang Do-hyung said, “Dokdo Island is a habitat for various marine organisms and a Korean territory with great scientific importance, and KIOST will continue conducting research to monitor changes in the ecosystem of our ocean environment, including Dokdo.”
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- Last Update : 2023-09-15