Inclusivity is key to progressing coral biodiversity research: Reply to comment by Bonito et al. 2021.

Patricia H Wepfer, Yuichi Nakajima, Makamas Sutthacheep, Veronica Z Radice, Zoe Richards, Put Ang, Tullia Isotta Terraneo, Atsushi Fujimura, Robert J Toonen, Alexander S Mikheyev, Satoshi Mitarai, Evan P Economo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


1.1. Wepfer et al. reply to comment by Bonito et al. 2021 Bonito et al. (2021) provide a wide-ranging critique of our recent phylogeographic study (Wepfer et al. 2020) of the coral genus Galaxea, using the opportunity to offer their views about best practices in coral taxonomy and related topics. First of all, we agree with Bonito et al. that our original paper did not provide adequate information about the specimen vouchers. However, photographs and polyp samples were taken in the field, and 69 of the samples have colony fragments linked to museum accessions or are publicly available through research institutions. We have now deposited the photos and data for our study in a Dryad archive (, but the fact that this archive was not associated with the paper initially is an oversight on our part. For logistical and practical reasons, it was not possible to take skeletal samples from many regions. We agree with Bonito et al. that this situation is not ideal, as we discussed in our original paper, and the gold standard for evolutionary studies is to produce vouchered museum collections that can be used for other work such as taxonomic revisions. Other recent studies on coral phylogenetics (e.g., Cowman et al., 2020) have lacked museum-vouchered specimen information, photographs of all the sequenced specimens, or remarks about specific morphological differences in relation to comparative type material, so we all must strive to improve this situation in the future.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107135
JournalMolecular phylogenetics and evolution
StatePublished - Mar 8 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-03-11

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Inclusivity is key to progressing coral biodiversity research: Reply to comment by Bonito et al. 2021.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this