Identifying patterns and drivers of coral diversity in the Central Indo-Pacific marine biodiversity hotspot

Mihaljevic, Morana , Korpanty, Chelsea , Renema, Willem , Welsh, Kevin and Pandolfi, John M. (2017) Identifying patterns and drivers of coral diversity in the Central Indo-Pacific marine biodiversity hotspot. Paleobiology, . doi:10.1017/pab.2017.1


Author Mihaljevic, Morana
Korpanty, Chelsea
Renema, Willem
Welsh, Kevin
Pandolfi, John M.
Title Identifying patterns and drivers of coral diversity in the Central Indo-Pacific marine biodiversity hotspot
Journal name Paleobiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0094-8373
1938-5331
Publication date 2017-04-20
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/pab.2017.1
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Total pages 22
Place of publication New York, United States
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Abstract Biodiversity hotspots are increasingly recognized as areas of high taxonomic and functional diversity. These hotspots are dynamic and shift geographically over time in response to environmental change. To identify drivers of the origin, evolution, and persistence of diversity hotspots, we investigated the diversity patterns of reef-building corals (Scleractinia) in the Central Indo-Pacific, a marine biodiversity hotspot for the last 25 Myr. We used the scleractinian fossil record (based on literature and a newly acquired fossil collection) to examine the taxonomic and functional diversity of corals from the Eocene to Pliocene. Our data identify potential drivers of coral diversity through time (and space) in the Central Indo-Pacific by constraining the timing of taxonomic turnover events and correlating them with known environmental changes. Increases in taxonomic diversity, high origination rates, and changes in abundance of functional character states indicate that the origin of the Central Indo-Pacific hotspot occurred during the Oligocene, initially through proliferation of pre-existing taxa and then by origination of new taxa. In contrast to taxonomic diversity, overall functional diversity of Central Indo-Pacific reef-building corals remained constant from the Eocene to the Pliocene. Our results identify global sea level as a main driver of diversity increase that, together with local tectonics, regulates availability of suitable habitats. Moreover, marine biodiversity hotspots develop from both the accumulation of taxa from older biodiversity hotspots and origination of new taxa. Our study demonstrates the utility of a combined literature-based and new collection approach for gaining new insights into the timing, drivers, and development of tropical biodiversity hotspots.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Created: Fri, 21 Apr 2017, 11:26:09 EST by Morana Mihaljevic on behalf of School of Biological Sciences