The evolution of microendemism in a reef fish (Hypoplectrus maya).

Moran, Benjamin M., Hench, Kosmas , Waples, Robin S., Höppner, Marc P., Baldwin, Carole C., McMillan, W. Owen and Puebla, Oscar (2019) The evolution of microendemism in a reef fish (Hypoplectrus maya). Molecular Ecology, 28 (11). pp. 2872-2885. DOI 10.1111/mec.15110.

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Marine species tend to have extensive distributions, which are commonly attributed to the dispersal potential provided by planktonic larvae and the rarity of absolute barriers to dispersal in the ocean. Under this paradigm, the occurrence of marine microendemism without geographic isolation in species with planktonic larvae poses a dilemma. The recently described Maya hamlet (Hypoplectrus maya, Serranidae) is exactly such a case, being endemic to a 50-km segment of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS). We use whole-genome analysis to infer the demographic history of the Maya hamlet and contrast it with the sympatric and pan-Caribbean black (H. nigricans), barred (H. puella) and butter (H. unicolor) hamlets, as well as the allopatric but phenotypically similar blue hamlet (H. gemma). We show that H. maya is indeed a distinct evolutionary lineage, with genomic signatures of inbreeding and a unique demographic history of continuous decrease in effective population size since it diverged from congeners just ~3,000 generations ago. We suggest that this case of microendemism may be driven by the combination of a narrow ecological niche and restrictive oceanographic conditions in the southern MBRS, which is consistent with the occurrence of an unusually high number of marine microendemics in this region. The restricted distribution of the Maya hamlet, its decline in both census and effective population sizes, and the degradation of its habitat place it at risk of extinction. We conclude that the evolution of marine microendemism can be a fast and dynamic process, with extinction possibly occurring before speciation is complete.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Data Availability Statement:: All new raw sequences (H. maya and H. gemma) have been deposited at the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) under project accession number PRJEB29705; the individual accession numbers for these samples are provided in Table S2. Previously sequenced Belizean samples (H. nigricans, H. puella, and H. unicolor) are available under ENA project PRJEB27858. The biallelic SNP genotypes in VCF format for all samples are also available in Dryad (
Keywords: demographic inference, endemism, hamlets, Hypoplectrus, speciation
Research affiliation: Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1111/mec.15110
ISSN: 0962-1083
Related URLs:
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2019 09:24
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 09:10

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