Trophic innovations fuel reef fish diversification

Siqueira, Alexandre C., Morais, Renato A., Bellwood, David R., and Cowman, Peter F. (2020) Trophic innovations fuel reef fish diversification. Nature Communications, 11. 2669.

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Reef fishes are an exceptionally speciose vertebrate assemblage, yet the main drivers of their diversification remain unclear. It has been suggested that Miocene reef rearrangements promoted opportunities for lineage diversification, however, the specific mechanisms are not well understood. Here, we assemble near-complete reef fish phylogenies to assess the importance of ecological and geographical factors in explaining lineage origination patterns. We reveal that reef fish diversification is strongly associated with species’ trophic identity and body size. Large-bodied herbivorous fishes outpace all other trophic groups in recent diversification rates, a pattern that is consistent through time. Additionally, we show that omnivory acts as an intermediate evolutionary step between higher and lower trophic levels, while planktivory represents a common transition destination. Overall, these results suggest that Miocene changes in reef configurations were likely driven by, and subsequently promoted, trophic innovations. This highlights trophic evolution as a key element in enhancing reef fish diversification.

Item ID: 66577
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2041-1723
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Copyright Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit © The Author(s) 2020
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A version of this publication was included as Chapter 2 of the following PhD thesis: Siqueira Correa, Alexandre (2020) The evolution, macroecology and biogeography of coral reef fishes: a trophic perspective. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: ARC LF 190100062, ARC DE 170100516, JCU Postgraduate Research Scholarship
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2021 05:15
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310405 Evolutionary ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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