A review of marine phylogeography in southern Africa

Teske, P.R. and von der Heyden , S. and McQuaid, C.D. and Barker, N.P. (2011) A review of marine phylogeography in southern Africa. South African Journal of Science, 107 (5/6). pp. 1-11. ISSN 0038-2353



Official URL: http://www.sajs.co.za/index.php/SAJS/article/view/...


The southern African marine realm is located at the transition zone between the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific biomes. Its biodiversity is particularly rich and comprises faunal and floral elements from the two major oceanic regions, as well as a large number of endemics. Within this realm, strikingly different biota occur in close geographic proximity to each other, and many of the species with distributions spanning two or more of the region’s marine biogeographic provinces are divided into evolutionary units that can often only be distinguished on the basis of genetic data. In this review, we describe the state of marine phylogeography in southern Africa, that is, the study of evolutionary relationships at the species level, or amongst closely related species, in relation to the region’s marine environment. We focus particularly on coastal phylogeography, where much progress has recently been made in identifying phylogeographic breaks and explaining how they originated and are maintained. We also highlight numerous shortcomings that should be addressed in the near future. These include: the limited data available for commercially important organisms, particularly offshore species; the paucity of oceanographic data for nearshore areas; a dearth of studies based on multilocus data; and the fact that studying the role of diversifying selection in speciation has been limited to physiological approaches to the exclusion of genetics. It is becoming apparent that the southern African marine realm is one of the world’s most interesting environments in which to study the evolutionary processes that shape not only regional, but also global patterns of marine biodiversity.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:marine phylogeography; southern Africa; marine biogeography; coastal phylogeography; marine biodiversity
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Botany
Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
ID Code:1913
Deposited By: Mrs Eileen Shepherd
Deposited On:30 May 2011 15:20
Last Modified:01 Aug 2012 13:13
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