Influence of sexual selection and feeding functional morphology on diversification rate of parrotfishes (Scaridae)

Kazancioglu, E., Near, T. J., Hanel, Reinhold and Wainwright, P. C. (2009) Influence of sexual selection and feeding functional morphology on diversification rate of parrotfishes (Scaridae) Proceedings of The Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, 276 . pp. 3439-3446. DOI 10.1098/rspb.2009.0876.

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Scaridae (parrotfishes) is a prominent clade of 96 species that shape coral reef communities worldwide through their actions as grazing herbivores. Phylogenetically nested within Labridae, the profound ecological impact and high species richness of parrotfishes suggest that their diversification and ecological success may be linked. Here, we ask whether parrotfish evolution is characterized by a significant burst of lineage diversification and whether parrotfish diversity is shaped more strongly by sexual selection or modifications of the feeding mechanism. We first examined scarid diversification within the greater context of labrid diversity. We used a supermatrix approach for 252 species to propose the most extensive phylogenetic hypothesis of Labridae to date, and time-calibrated the phylogeny with fossil and biogeographical data. Using divergence date estimates, we find that several parrotfish clades exhibit the highest diversification rates among all labrid lineages. Furthermore, we pinpoint a rate shift at the shared ancestor of Scarus and Chlorurus, a scarid subclade characterized by territorial behaviour and strong sexual dichromatism, suggesting that sexual selection was a major factor in parrotfish diversification. Modifications of the pharyngeal and oral jaws that happened earlier in parrotfish evolution may have contributed to this diversity by establishing parrotfishes as uniquely capable reef herbivores.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1098/rspb.2009.0876
ISSN: 1471-2954
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2010 13:53
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 12:07

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