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      Rossellid glass sponges (Porifera, Hexactinellida) from New Zealand waters, with description of one new genus and six new species


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          New Zealand’s surrounding deep waters have become known as a diversity hotspot for glass sponges ( Porifera : Hexactinellida ) in recent years, and description and collection efforts are continuing. Here we report on eight rossellids ( Hexasterophora : Lyssacinosida : Rossellidae ) collected during the 2017 RV Sonne cruise SO254 by ROV Kiel 6000 as part of Project PoribacNewZ of the University of Oldenburg, Germany. The material includes six species new to science, two of which are assigned to a so far undescribed genus; we further re-describe two previously known species. The known extant rossellid diversity from the New Zealand region is thus almost doubled, from nine species in five genera to 17 species in eight genera. The specimens described here are only a small fraction of hexactinellids collected on cruise SO254. Unfortunately, the first author passed away while working on this collection, only being able to complete the nine descriptions reported here. The paper concludes with an obituary to him, the world-leading expert on glass sponge taxonomy who will be greatly missed.

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          Phylogeny and evolution of glass sponges (porifera, hexactinellida).

          Reconstructing the phylogeny of sponges (Porifera) is one of the remaining challenges to resolve the metazoan Tree of Life and is a prerequisite for understanding early animal evolution. Molecular phylogenetic analyses for two of the three extant classes of the phylum, Demospongiae and Calcarea, are largely incongruent with traditional classifications, most likely because of a paucity of informative morphological characters and high levels of homoplasy. For the third class, Hexactinellida (glass sponges)--predominantly deep-sea inhabitants with unusual morphology and biology--we present the first molecular phylogeny, along with a cladistic analysis of morphological characters. We collected 18S, 28S, and mitochondrial 16S ribosomal DNA sequences of 34 glass sponge species from 27 genera, 9 families, and 3 orders and conducted partitioned Bayesian analyses using RNA secondary structure-specific substitution models (paired-sites models) for stem regions. Bayes factor comparisons of different paired-sites models against each other and conventional (independent-sites) models revealed a significantly better fit of the former but, contrary to previous predictions, the least parameter-rich of the tested paired-sites models provided the best fit to our data. In contrast to Demospongiae and Calcarea, our rDNA phylogeny agrees well with the traditional classification and a previously proposed phylogenetic system, which we ascribe to a more informative morphology in Hexactinellida. We find high support for a close relationship of glass sponges and Demospongiae sensu stricto, though the latter may be paraphyletic with respect to Hexactinellida. Homoscleromorpha appears to be the sister group of Calcarea. Contrary to most previous findings from rDNA, we recover Porifera as monophyletic, although support for this clade is low under paired-sites models.
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            Deep-sea Hexactinellida (Porifera) of the Weddell Sea

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              Family Rossellidae Schulze, 1885


                Author and article information

                Pensoft Publishers
                17 September 2021
                : 1060
                : 33-84
                [1 ] Biology Department, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
                [2 ] Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Palaeontology and Geobiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, München, Germany
                [3 ] Coasts and Oceans National Centre, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Auckland, New Zealand
                [4 ] NIWA Invertebrate Collection, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Wellington, New Zealand
                [5 ] ICBM Terramare, University of Oldenburg, Wilhelmshaven, Germany
                [6 ] Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg (HIFMB), Oldenburg, Germany
                [7 ] SNSB – Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie, München, Germany
                [8 ] GeoBio-Center, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, Germany
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Martin Dohrmann ( m.dohrmann@ 123456lrz.uni-muenchen.de )

                Academic editor: Pavel Stoev

                Henry M. Reiswig, Martin Dohrmann, Michelle Kelly, Sadie Mills, Peter J. Schupp, Gert Wörheide

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Funded by: University of Victoria 100008997 http://doi.org/10.13039/100008997
                Research Article
                New Zealand


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