September 1, 1995-August 31, 2001
Level of Access
The crustacean order Cumacea is largely unknown for large areas of the world's oceans and continental margins. Cumaceans are small crustaceans, allied with amphipods, isopods, and several other groups, all of whom carry their young about in a brood pouch. In many shallow marine habits they are important food items in the diets of young fish. Virtually nothing is known about the evolutionary history of the group. There is also uncertainty associated with many of the characters used in the taxonomy of cumaceans, a feature which characterizes several other groups of small crustaceans, therefore, principles developed for this group may be used to unravel similar problems in other taxa. The taxonomic objective of this research is to monograph the cumacean fauna of America's shores and those in the southeastern Pacific, and to test hypotheses regarding utility of taxonomic characters and biogeographic history of the group. In addition the project will train the next generation of crustacean systematists in both morphological as well as molecular methods of systematics through the production of taxonomic monographs. A final objective is to provide for the electronic storage and archiving of this taxonomic data. The significance of the project is to provide a better understanding of the taxonomy and evolutionary relationships among this little known but ecologically important group of crustaceans. In addition the research will produce broadly trained scientists well schooled in classic monographic as well as molecular methods of systematics.
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Watling, Leslie E. and Kornfield, Irving, "PEET: Biogeography, Morphology, and Molecular Systematics of Cumaceans: Training Taxonomists for the 21st Century" (2002). University of Maine Office of Research Administration: Grant Reports. 176.