On the evolution of fish–coral interactions

Siqueira Correa, Alexandre C., Muruga, Pooventhran, and Bellwood, David R. (2023) On the evolution of fish–coral interactions. Ecology Letters, 26 (8). pp. 1348-1358.

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The biodiversity of tropical reefs is typified by the interaction between fishes and corals. Despite the importance of this ecological association, coevolutionary patterns between these two animal groups have yet to be critically evaluated. After compiling a large dataset on the prevalence of fish–coral interactions, we found that only a minority of fish species associate strongly with live corals (~5%). Furthermore, we reveal an evolutionary decoupling between fish and coral lineage trajectories. While fish lineages expanded in the Miocene, the bulk of coral diversification occurred in the Pliocene/Pleistocene. Most importantly, we found that coral association did not drive major differences in fish diversification. These results suggest that the Miocene fish diversification is more likely related to the development of novel, wave-resistant reef structures and their associated ecological opportunities. Macroevolutionary patterns in reef fishes are thus more strongly correlated with the expansion of reefs than with the corals themselves.

Item ID: 78988
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1461-0248
Keywords: coevolution, coral reefs, diversification, ecological association
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2024 02:02
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180504 Marine biodiversity @ 100%
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