Widespread ecomorphological convergence in multiple fish families spanning the marine-freshwater interface

Davis, Aaron M., and Betancur, Ricardo (2017) Widespread ecomorphological convergence in multiple fish families spanning the marine-freshwater interface. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences, 284 (1854). 20170565.

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The theoretical definition and quantification of convergence is an increasingly topical focus in evolutionary research, with particular growing interest on study scales spanning deep phylogenetic divergences and broad geographical areas. While much progress has recently been made in understanding the role of convergence in driving terrestrial (e.g. anole lizards) and aquatic (e.g. cichlids) radiations, little is known about its macroevolutionary effects across environmental gradients. This study uses a suite of recently developed comparative approaches integrating diverse aspects of morphology, dietary data, habitat affiliation and phylogeny to assess convergence across several well-known tropical temperate fish families in the percomorph suborder Terapontoidei, a Glade with considerable phenotypic and ecological diversity radiating in both marine and freshwater environments. We demonstrate significant widespread convergence across many lineages occupying equivalent trophic niches, particularly feeding habits such as herbivory and biting of attached prey off hard substrates. These include several examples of convergent morphotypes evolving independently in marine and freshwater clades, separated by deep evolutionary divergences (tens of millions of years). The Terapontoidei present a new example of the macroevolutionary dynamics of morphological and ecological coevolution in relation to habitat and trophic preferences, at a greater phylogenetic and habitat scale than most well-studied adaptive radiations.

Item ID: 50303
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0962-8452
Keywords: adaptive radiation, ecomorphology, herbivory, marine-freshwater invasion
Funders: Queensland Government Smithsonian Fellowship, Smithsonian Institution (SI)
Projects and Grants: SI P. Buck Fellowship, SI award DEB-1457184, SI award DEB-1541491
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 07:46
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310304 Freshwater ecology @ 80%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310308 Terrestrial ecology @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960807 Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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