Patterns of species range evolution in Indo-Pacific reef assemblages reveal the Coral Triangle as a net source of transoceanic diversity.
© 2016 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
The Coral Triangle in the Indo-Pacific is a region renowned for exceptional marine biodiversity. The area could have acted as a 'centre of origin' where speciation has been prolific or a 'centre of survival' by providing refuge during major environmental shifts such as sea-level changes. The region could also have acted as a 'centre of accumulation' for species with origins outside of the Coral Triangle, owing to it being at a central position between the Indian and Pacific oceans. Here, we investigated support for these hypotheses using population-level DNA sequence-based reconstructions of the range evolution of 45 species (314 populations) of Indo-Pacific reef-associated organisms. Our results show that populations undergoing the most ancient establishment were significantly more likely to be closer to the centre of the Coral Triangle than to peripheral locations. The data are consistent with the Coral Triangle being a net source of coral-reef biodiversity for the Indo-Pacific region, suggesting that the region has acted primarily as a centre of survival, a centre of origin or both. These results provide evidence of how a key location can influence the large-scale distributions of biodiversity over evolutionary timescales.
Natural Environment Research Council (NE/F001878/1) to M.J.G. and S.D.S.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol 12 article 20160090.
PubMed Central ID
Place of publication