Faunal breaks and species composition of Indo-Pacific corals:potential influence of plate tectonics, environment, and habitat distribution

Keith, Sal and Hughes, T. P. and Baird, Andrew and Madin, Josh and Connolly, Sean R. (2013) Faunal breaks and species composition of Indo-Pacific corals:potential influence of plate tectonics, environment, and habitat distribution. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, 280 (1763). ISSN 0080-4649

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Abstract

Species richness gradients are ubiquitous in nature, but the mechanisms that generate and maintain these patterns at macroecological scales remain unresolved. We use a new approach that focuses on overlapping geographical ranges of species to reveal that Indo-Pacific corals are assembled within 11 distinct faunal provinces. Province limits are characterized by co-occurrence of multiple species range boundaries. Unexpectedly, these faunal breaks are poorly predicted by contemporary environmental conditions and the present-day distribution of habitat. Instead, faunal breaks show striking concordance with geological features (tectonic plates and mantle plume tracks). The depth range over which a species occurs, its larval development rate and genus age are important determinants of the likelihood that species will straddle faunal breaks. Our findings indicate that historical processes, habitat heterogeneity and species colonization ability account for more of the present-day biogeographical patterns of corals than explanations based on the contemporary distribution of reefs or environmental conditions.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B
Subjects:
ID Code:
85694
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
24 Mar 2017 16:50
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
05 Aug 2020 05:03