The herbivorous fish family Kyphosidae (Teleostei: Perciformes) represents a recent radiation from higher latitudes

Knudsen, Steen Wilhelm, Choat, J. Howard, and Clements, Kendall D. (2019) The herbivorous fish family Kyphosidae (Teleostei: Perciformes) represents a recent radiation from higher latitudes. Journal of Biogeography, 46 (9). pp. 2067-2080.

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Aim: Herbivorous reef fishes are considered to have difficulty digesting plant material at extratropical temperatures and are thus largely restricted to tropical waters where they are thought to have evolved. However, the herbivorous Kyphosidae, with both temperate and tropical species, provides an ideal opportunity to test this view. Previous studies have resolved the taxonomy and distribution patterns of all species. Here, we use a calibrated phylogeny to analyse the age, geographical origin and pattern of diversification of kyphosids to determine their origins in space and time, and thus refine hypotheses on the evolutionary origins of herbivory in reef fishes.

Location: Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Western Australia.

Methods: The age and geographic origin of Kyphosidae were determined by incorporating fossil calibrations and species distributions onto a phylogeny of all extant species based on fragments from mitochondrial markers and three nuclear markers, and using Bayesian modelling to reconstruct ancestral distributions. Evolution of both diet and tooth shape was also examined using ancestral reconstruction.

Results: Ancestral reconstruction suggested a subtropical, Southern Hemisphere Indo-Pacific origin for the family. The chronogram indicates that Kyphosus originated in the early Miocene and that tropical diversity reflects very recent diversification.

Main conclusions: Contrary to the general perception that herbivorous reef fishes invaded high latitudes from the tropics, herbivorous kyphosids evolved at intermediate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere and subsequently diversified into low latitudes where several species dispersed recently to achieve circumglobal distributions. The southern temperate/subtropical reef environment appears to have generated episodes of diversification in several, well-established, widespread reef fish taxa. Some of these reef fish taxa have remained restricted to southern temperate reef environments despite a long tenure in the Cenozoic (e.g. odacines and aplodactylids), and some such as the kyphosids which diversified very recently in both hemispheres resulting in both regional endemics and species with worldwide distributions.

Item ID: 60461
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2699
Keywords: Girellidae, Kyphosidae, Kyphosus, marine herbivorous fishes, phylogeography, sea chubs
Copyright Information: © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Funders: New Zealand Goverment (NZ), Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab (KDVS), Australian Museum (AM), New Zealand Ministry of Research and Innovation (NZMRI)
Projects and Grants: NZ New Zeland International Doctoral Research Sholarship, KDVS Julie von Müllens Fond, AM Geddes Postgraduate Award, NZMRI NIWA Biodiversity and Biosecurity Science Programme
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2019 07:47
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
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