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Trends Ecol Evol. 2013 Jun;28(6):359-66. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2013.01.018. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

The origins of tropical marine biodiversity.

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Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA.


Recent phylogeographic studies have overturned three paradigms for the origins of marine biodiversity. (i) Physical (allopatric) isolation is not the sole avenue for marine speciation: many species diverge along ecological boundaries. (ii) Peripheral habitats such as oceanic archipelagos are not evolutionary graveyards: these regions can export biodiversity. (iii) Speciation in marine and terrestrial ecosystems follow similar processes but are not the same: opportunities for allopatric isolation are fewer in the oceans, leaving greater opportunity for speciation along ecological boundaries. Biodiversity hotspots such as the Caribbean Sea and the Indo-Pacific Coral Triangle produce and export species, but can also accumulate biodiversity produced in peripheral habitats. Both hotspots and peripheral ecosystems benefit from this exchange in a process dubbed biodiversity feedback.

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