Meeting Abstract

30-6  Thursday, Jan. 5 14:45 - 15:00  Another look at the evolution of fishes on coral reefs SANTINI, F; Associazione Italiana per Studio Biodiversita’

Coral reefs occupy less than 2% of the oceans, yet are estimated to harbor up to ~ 40% of the extant diversity of marine teleost fishes. Large scale teleost phylogenies have shown that non-reef fish lineages have invaded reef habitats multiple times (probably over 70 times). The vast majority of the reef fish diversity, however, belongs to relatively few groups, prompting the question of what biological traits limit the ability of most clades to take advantage of their new habitats. Furthermore, while earlier studies had found support for the hypothesis that reefs may promote higher rates of lineage or trait diversification in groups such as pufferishes and allies and wrasses, more recent analyses have failed to recover similar patterns in other clades (e.g., jacks, pompanos and allies). In this talk I will present results of comparative macroevolutionary analyses performed using new time-calibrated phylogenies for a number of currently understudied reef-associated fish groups, including snappers (Lutjanidae), breams, porgies and emperors (Sparoidea), morays, snake- and conger eels (Anguilliformes), rabbitfishes (Siganidae), and jacks (Carangoidei). All of these phylogenies have a much denser species sampling than the currently published trees, and use the rich fossil record available for most of these groups. The results show that the relationships between reefs and teleost fishes is very complex, with some traits making some groups much more likely than others to successfully diversify on reefs after invasions.