Environmental and geometric constraints on Indo-Pacific coral reef biodiversity

Bellwood, D.R., Hughes, T.P., Connolly, S.R., and Tanner, J. (2005) Environmental and geometric constraints on Indo-Pacific coral reef biodiversity. Ecology Letters, 8 (6). pp. 643-651.

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Abstract

The Indo-Australian Archipelago supports the world's richest coral reef biodiversity hotspot. Traditional hypotheses that account for such exceptional biodiversity have highlighted the importance of environmental variables such as habitat area and energy input. Recently, however, an additional explanation has been proposed based on geometric constraints in the placement of geographical ranges within a bounded domain, which cause a mid-domain peak in species richness; the mid-domain effect (MDE). Here, for the first time, we examine the relative importance of area, energy and MDE jointly on species richness patterns. Model selection indicates that the best model incorporates MDE and reef area, but no energy effect; moreover, this best-fit model captures all major features of reef fish and coral species richness patterns. Habitat area is the major environmental factor influencing species richness. The prevention of further fragmentation and loss of habitat area is of critical importance for the conservation of coral reef biodiversity.

Item ID: 6245
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: biodiversity; coral reefs; fishes; hot spots; mid-domain effects; spatial models
ISSN: 1461-0248
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2010 05:13
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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