Navigation Links
Hamlet fish sheds light on evolution of marine species
Date:4/23/2010

To evolve or not to evolve? That is the question scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) are closer to answering following a groundbreaking new study into the colourful hamlet fish.

Little is known about the way species evolve in the vast marine environment. The new findings, published online today by the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, significantly improve our understanding of speciation the evolutionary process by which new species arise.

The hamlets are a group of colourful coral reef fish found throughout the Caribbean. Ten species of hamlet have been discovered and each can be easily recognized by its own distinct colour pattern. In some areas, as many as seven varieties can be found on a single reef. However, most hamlet species are only found at specific locations. The blue hamlet, for example, is found only in the Florida region.

It had previously been believed that these different species evolved because of geographical separation. For example, it was thought that falling sea levels in the past could have divided the original species. Then, when levels increased, the differently evolved species were thrown back together.

The new study by ecologists at UEA and Simon Fraser University in Canada found little evidence for this theory and instead suggests that hamlet colour varieties could have evolved regardless of any physical separation.

Using thousands of underwater surveys made by SCUBA divers as part of the REEF volunteer survey project (www.reef.org), the researchers analysed distributions of the ten different hamlet species. They found that even widespread hamlet species are not found everywhere, and identified high density hotspots for each species.

Since different species hotspots overlap and many species have more than one hotspot, the results do not support the theory that hamlets originated independently when they were geographically separated in the past. The research also showed how ecological factors, such as competition for food or habitat, may influence how different hamlet species co-exist.

"Our findings suggest that ecology may better explain the evolution of hamlets than geographical separation," said lead author Dr Ben Holt of UEA's School of Biological Sciences.

"Many scientists believe hamlets are beginning to evolve into a new species and this latest discovery will shed light on this process."


'/>"/>

Contact: Simon Dunford
s.dunford@uea.ac.uk
44-160-359-2203
University of East Anglia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Key piece of puzzle sheds light on function of ribosomes
2. Glacial watersheds may contribute to oceanic food web
3. Michigan State University study sheds light on microscopic flower petal ridges
4. Study sheds light on evolution of human complexity
5. Australian study sheds light on kidney repair and disease
6. URI researcher sheds light on man-eating squid; finds them timid, nonthreatening
7. URI researcher sheds light on man-eating squid; finds them timid, non-threatening
8. 2000-year-old statue of an athlete sheds light on corrosion and other modern challenges
9. Study of agricultural watersheds and carbon losses
10. Canadian synchrotron conference sheds light on new biomedical research
11. Avian flu research sheds light on swine flu outbreak
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/28/2016)... 2016 Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer ... quarter ended December 31, 2015. --> ... 2016 increased 2 percent compared to the comparable quarter last year ... 2016 was $35.0 million, or $0.93 per diluted share. ... the first quarter of fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... , Jan. 22, 2016 ... addition of the "Global Biometrics Market ... their offering. --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ... "Global Biometrics Market in Retail Sector ... --> Research and Markets ( ...
(Date:1/18/2016)... 2016  Extenua Inc., a pioneering developer of ... and access of ubiquitous on-premise and cloud storage, today ... Cyber.  ... C4ISR and Cyber initiatives in support of National ... technology solutions," said Steve Visconti , Extenua ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016  Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO ), ... Edward Lanphier , Sangamo,s president and chief executive ... Sangamo,s ZFP Therapeutic ® development programs and an ... ET on Thursday, February 11, 2016, at the Leerink ... conference is being held in New York ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Beike Biotechnology, the Shenzhen ... ceremony in late 2015 to mark their successful combined ... --> --> The ... Cell Therapy" was hosted by the Shenzhen Cell Bank ... of Beike Biotechnology Co., Ltd. Shenzhen,s ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... February 4, 2016 --> ... acceleration company is pleased to provide the following update on ... Over the last 3 months we have significantly increased ... agreements exceeding $1,000,000. As a result, we have positioned ourselves ... Inc. license agreement and expect that development to continue on ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016 Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ("Sinovac" ... provider of biopharmaceutical products in China ... board of directors received on February 4, 2016 a ... a consortium comprised of PKU V-Ming ( Shanghai ... Ltd., CICC Qianhai Development ( Shenzhen ) ...
Breaking Biology Technology: