University Of Tasmania

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Multiple Origins of the Juan Fernández Kelpfish Fauna and Evidence for Frequent and Unidirectional Dispersal of Cirrhitoid Fishes Across the South Pacific

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 00:49 authored by Christopher BurridgeChristopher Burridge, Melendez, R, Dyer, BS
Phylogenetic relationships were reconstructed among chironemid fishes based on morphological and molecular (lrRNA, NADH4, S7 ribosomal protein) characters. Two sympatric species from Juan Fern ´ andez in the southeast Pacific are not sister taxa, but rather exhibit independent relationships to Australian/New Zealand chironemids. The most plausible explanation for these relationships and contemporary distributions is an Australian/New Zealand origin of the family, followed by two trans-Pacific dispersal and colonization events, facilitated by larval entrapment within the West Wind Drift. This study demonstrates that the diversity of taxa on an island can reflect multiple colonizations, rather than in situ diversification, even in the case of very small, isolated, and geologically recent islands. When taken in conjunction with studies of related taxa, our results indicate that transoceanic dispersal of temperate cirrhitoid fishes in the South Pacific has been frequent and unidirectional. Molecular estimates of divergence time between southeast Pacific chironemids and their western relatives predate the emergence of Juan Fern ´ andez, consistent with hypotheses that much of the marine nearshore faunas of young southeast Pacific islands may be the product of successive transfer from older, now submerged islands. [Approximately unbiased test; biogeography; combinability; dispersal; island; seamount; Southern Hemisphere; West Wind Drift.]


Publication title

Systematic Biology










School of Natural Sciences


Taylor & Francis Inc

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© 2006 Society of Systematic Biologists

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Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences