Species origin and cryptic species in the Coral Triangle


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The Coral Triangle is known as marine biodiversity center according to its highestmarine biodiversity.However, the mechanism to form such a high biodiversity is still under debate. Pomacentruscoelestisis also known as neon damselfish which distributed across coral triangle has been used as a model species to reveal its phylogeographic structure and test different hypotheses of the process how marine biodiversity center was formed. The results indicated Center of Origin and Center of Overlap are both present in P. coelestis, and suggest that multiple evolutionary processes may have acted on single species, either simultaneously or at different times,and have important implications for reef fish management in the West Pacific.This project is under an international collaboration with Dr. Gerald Allen (Western Australian Museum) and Dr. Mark Erdmann (Conservation International), and this finding has been published in Marine Ecological Progress Series vol. 458, pages 155-167 (2012). In addition, a cryptic species distributed mainly in Micronesia,hasbeen described as a new species and accepted by Zoological Studies already.

Liu SYV, Dai CF, Allen GR, Erdmann MV (2012) Phylogeography of the neon damselfish, Pomacentrus coelestis, reveals species origin and a cryptic species in the Coral Triangle. Marine Ecology Progress Series458: 155-167