When biogeographical provinces collide: Hybridization of reef fishes at the crossroads of marine biogeographical provinces in the Arabian Sea

Dibattista, Joseph D, Rocha, Luiz A, Hobbs, Jean-Paul A, He, Song, Priest, Mark A, Sinclair-Taylor, Tane H, Bowen, Brian W and Berumen, Michael L (2015) When biogeographical provinces collide: Hybridization of reef fishes at the crossroads of marine biogeographical provinces in the Arabian Sea. Journal of Biogeography, 42 9: 1601-1614. doi:10.1111/jbi.12526


Author Dibattista, Joseph D
Rocha, Luiz A
Hobbs, Jean-Paul A
He, Song
Priest, Mark A
Sinclair-Taylor, Tane H
Bowen, Brian W
Berumen, Michael L
Title When biogeographical provinces collide: Hybridization of reef fishes at the crossroads of marine biogeographical provinces in the Arabian Sea
Journal name Journal of Biogeography   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-2699
0305-0270
Publication date 2015-04-27
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/jbi.12526
Volume 42
Issue 9
Start page 1601
End page 1614
Total pages 14
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Aim
Suture zones are areas where closely related species from different biogeographical regions come into contact and interbreed. This concept originated from the study of terrestrial ecosystems but it remains unclear whether a similar phenomenon occurs in the marine environment. Here we investigate a potential suture zone from a previously unknown hybrid hotspot at the Socotra Archipelago (Yemen), located in the Arabian Sea, where fauna from the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, western Indian Ocean and greater Indo-Polynesian Province intersect.

Location
Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.

Methods
Putative hybrid reef fish were identified based on intermediate coloration and morphology. Underwater observations and collections were conducted to determine: (1) whether parent species form heterospecific social groups or breeding pairs; (2) the sex and reproductive status of morphologically intermediate individuals; and (3) whether parent species were forming mixed species associations owing to a dearth of conspecific partners. To support hybrid status, morphologically intermediate and parental individuals were genotyped using mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), nuclear recombination-activating gene 2 (RAG2) and the nuclear TMO-4C4 (TMO) gene.

Results
We observed putative hybrids involving 14 species from four reef fish families at Socotra. Most cases involved a parental species with a restricted distribution (e.g. Red Sea or Arabian Sea) and a broadly distributed Indo-Pacific species. In most cases, at least one of the parent species was rare at Socotra. Hybrid gene flow was largely unidirectional, and although introgression was rare, we found evidence that some butterflyfish and surgeonfish hybrids were fertile and formed breeding groups with parental species.

Main conclusions
The rate of hybrid discovery at Socotra is much greater than that recorded elsewhere in the marine environment and involved both allopatric and sympatric species. This study highlights the importance of biogeographical location, reef habitat, environmental conditions and abundance disparities at Socotra in potentially facilitating hybridization among reef fishes at the edge of their distribution.
Keyword Coral reef fish
Gulf of Aden
Hybrid hotspot
Introgression
Mitochondrial DNA
Nuclear DNA
Socotra
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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