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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 30;8(12):e81847. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081847. eCollection 2013.

Global biogeography of reef fishes: a hierarchical quantitative delineation of regions.

Author information

1
Institut de Recherche pour le développement (IRD), UR 227- Labex CORAIL, Laboratoire Arago, Banyuls/mer, France.
2
Institut de Recherche pour le développement (IRD), UR 227- Labex CORAIL, Laboratoire Arago, Banyuls/mer, France ; Centre de Synthèse et d'Analyse sur la Biodiversité (Fondation pour la Recherche en Biodiversité), Immeuble Henri Poincaré, Domaine du Petit Arbois, Aix-en-Provence, France.
3
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.
4
Laboratorio de Ecología de Ecosistemas de Arrecifes Coralinos, Departamento de Recursos del Mar, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Unidad Mérida, Cordemex, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico.
5
Institut de Recherche pour le développement (IRD) UR 227 "CoReUs" - Labex CORAIL, Ste Clotilde, La Réunion, France.
6
Marine Macroecology and Biogeography Lab, Depto. Ecologia e Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.
7
Department of Biology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America.
8
Centre of Conservation Research, Calgary Zoological Society, Calgary, Alberta, Canada ; Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.
9
Seaclicks/Coral Graphics, Wellington, Florida, United States of America.
10
Institut de Recherche pour le développement (IRD) UR 227 "CoReUs" - Labex CORAIL, Noumea, New Caledonia.
11
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia ; Ecologie des Systèmes Marins Côtiers, ECOSYM UMR 5119, Université Montpellier 2, Montpellier, France.

Abstract

Delineating regions is an important first step in understanding the evolution and biogeography of faunas. However, quantitative approaches are often limited at a global scale, particularly in the marine realm. Reef fishes are the most diversified group of marine fishes, and compared to most other phyla, their taxonomy and geographical distributions are relatively well known. Based on 169 checklists spread across all tropical oceans, the present work aims to quantitatively delineate biogeographical entities for reef fishes at a global scale. Four different classifications were used to account for uncertainty related to species identification and the quality of checklists. The four classifications delivered converging results, with biogeographical entities that can be hierarchically delineated into realms, regions and provinces. All classifications indicated that the Indo-Pacific has a weak internal structure, with a high similarity from east to west. In contrast, the Atlantic and the Eastern Tropical Pacific were more strongly structured, which may be related to the higher levels of endemism in these two realms. The "Coral Triangle", an area of the Indo-Pacific which contains the highest species diversity for reef fishes, was not clearly delineated by its species composition. Our results show a global concordance with recent works based upon endemism, environmental factors, expert knowledge, or their combination. Our quantitative delineation of biogeographical entities, however, tests the robustness of the results and yields easily replicated patterns. The similarity between our results and those from other phyla, such as corals, suggests that our approach may be of broad utility in describing and understanding global marine biodiversity patterns.

PMID:
24386083
PMCID:
PMC3875412
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0081847
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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