Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics

Leprieur, Fabien, Descombes, Patrice, Gaboriau, Théo, Cowman, Peter F., Parravicini, Valeriano, Kulbicki, Michel, Melián, Carlos J., de Santana, Charles N., Heine, Christian, Mouillot, David, Bellwood, David R., and Pellissier, Loïc (2016) Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics. Nature Communications, 7. pp. 1-8.

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Abstract

The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics.

Item ID: 48435
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
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ISSN: 2041-1723
Funders: L'Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)
Projects and Grants: ANR-FNS REEFISH no. 310030E-164294
Date Deposited: 17 May 2017 02:12
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
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