Historical Biogeography of Neotropical Freshwater Fishes

Historical Biogeography of Neotropical Freshwater Fishes

JAMES S. ALBERT
ROBERTO E. REIS
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: 1
Pages: 408
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pp29c
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  • Book Info
    Historical Biogeography of Neotropical Freshwater Fishes
    Book Description:

    The fish faunas of continental South and Central America constitute one of the greatest concentrations of aquatic diversity on Earth, consisting of about 10 percent of all living vertebrate species.Historical Biogeography of Neotropical Freshwater Fishesexplores the evolutionary origins of this unique ecosystem. The chapters address central themes in the study of tropical biodiversity: why is the Amazon basin home to so many distinct evolutionary lineages? What roles do ecological specialization, speciation, and extinction play in the formation of regional assemblages? How do dispersal barriers contribute to isolation and diversification? Focusing on whole faunas rather than individual taxonomic groups, this volume shows that the area's high regional diversity is not the result of recent diversification in lowland tropical rainforests. Rather, it is the product of species accumulating over tens of millions of years and across a continental arena.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94850-1
    Subjects: Zoology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. PREFACE
    (pp. xi-xvi)
    James S. Albert and Roberto E. Reis
  5. PART ONE Continental Analysis
    • ONE Introduction to Neotropical Freshwaters
      (pp. 3-20)
      JAMES S. ALBERT and ROBERTO E. REIS

      In this paragraph introducing the Neotropics as a distinct biogeographical region of the world, Alfred Russel Wallace captured all the essential elements of its remarkable and highly endemic biota. The rivers and streams of tropical South and Central America are exceptionally diverse, with current estimates for freshwater fishes exceeding 7,000 species, making it by far the most species-rich continental vertebrate fauna on earth (Lundberg et al. 2000; Berra 2001; Reis et al. 2003a; Lévêque et al. 2005; Lévêque et al. 2008; Petry 2008). To put this number in perspective, Neotropical freshwater fishes represent about one in five of the world’s...

    • TWO Major Biogeographic and Phylogenetic Patterns
      (pp. 21-58)
      JAMES S. ALBERT, PAULO PETRY and ROBERTO E. REIS

      The freshwater fishes of tropical America constitute a taxonomically distinct fauna that extends throughout the continental waters of Central and South America, from south of the Mesa Central in southern Mexico (~16° N) to the La Plata estuary in northern Argentina (~34° S). The fishes of this region are largely restricted to the humid tropical portions of the Neotropical realm as circumscribed by Sclater (1858) and Wallace (1876), being excluded from the arid Pacific slopes of Peru and northern Chile, and the boreal regions of the Southern Cone in Chile and Argentina (Arratia 1997; Dyer 2000). The vast Neotropical ichthyofaunal...

    • THREE Geological Development of Amazon and Orinoco Basins
      (pp. 59-68)
      FRANK P. WESSELINGH and CARINA HOORN

      The history of the Amazonian aquatic systems and the emergence of the most diverse freshwater fish fauna in the world (Reis et al. 2003a) have puzzled researchers for many years. Ideally, the history of the region should be unraveled through its geological record. However, due to the poor accessibility of the region in general, and the limited exposure of geological strata in particular, insight into Amazonian geological history has long been very sketchy. Amazonian fish taxa were already noted in the Miocene deposits of the intra-Andean Ecuadorian Cuenca Basin (T. Roberts 1975). The presence of the characid catfishColossoma macropomum...

    • FOUR The Paraná-Paraguay Basin: Geology and Paleoenvironments
      (pp. 69-88)
      MARIANA BREA and ALEJANDRO F. ZUCOL

      The La Plata Basin in southeastern South America is one of the worldʹs great river systems, with geological origins that can be traced to the Mesozoic breakup of Gondwana (K. Cox 1989; Potter 1997; A. Ribeiro 2006). Encompassing more than 3 million km² in total surface area, this river basin is the fifth largest in the world, and second only to the Amazon Basin in South America. The headwaters of the Fluvial La Plata Basin (or Paraná-Paraguay) originate from diverse and distant sources, including mountain deserts at 6,000+ meters in the Andes of Argentina and Bolivia, the Pantanal wetlands of...

    • FIVE Species Richness and Cladal Diversity
      (pp. 89-104)
      JAMES S. ALBERT, HENRY L. BART JR. and ROBERTO E. REIS

      Neotropical freshwaters present a bewildering array of fish species, with more than 5,700 species currently known and many more being described every year. As in most faunas, these species are not distributed evenly among higher taxa. Indeed more than 75% of freshwater fish species in the Neotropics are members of just 10 families, and more than half of the whole fauna belongs to just three families (data from Reis et al. 2003a); Characidae (tetras, piranhas, and relatives) with about 1,345 species currently described, Loricariidae (armored catfishes) with about 973 species, and Cichlidae (cichlids) with about 571 species. All these numbers...

    • SIX Paleogene Radiations
      (pp. 105-118)
      HERNÁN LÓPEZ-FERNÁNDEZ and JAMES S. ALBERT

      The history of South American freshwaters is a complex succession of geological, hydrogeographic, and biological events that led to the evolution of the most diverse continental fish fauna on the planet. The origin of the modern Neotropical freshwater fish fauna was influenced by tectonic and orogenic events such as the fragmentation of Gondwana and the rise of the Andes for a period that comprises part of the Mesozoic and the entirety of the Cenozoic. During this lengthy history, South American freshwaters harbored a great number of fish lineages from which the living fauna is derived (Figure 6.1). Many freshwater taxa...

    • SEVEN Neogene Assembly of Modern Faunas
      (pp. 119-136)
      JAMES S. ALBERT and TIAGO P. CARVALHO

      The diversification of freshwater fishes is closely linked with the geomorphological history of the river basins in which they live (G. Smith 1981; Mayden 1988; Lundberg et al. 1998). This intimate relationship has long been recognized as a consequence of ecophysiological restrictions to dispersal in obligatory freshwater species (Ihering 1891; Eigenmann 1909b; Pearson 1937; Myers 1949). With rare exceptions (e.g., volcanoes, Humboldt 1805; waterspouts, Gudger 1921), dispersal of freshwater taxa requires corridors of aquatic habitat connecting adjacent basins, and the range limits of most continentally distributed aquatic species and higher taxa closely coincide with watershed boundaries (e.g., Vari 1988; see...

    • EIGHT The Biogeography of Marine Incursions in South America
      (pp. 137-144)
      DEVIN D. BLOOM and NATHAN R. LOVEJOY

      Marine incursions (or transgressions) are the inundation of continental land by oceanic waters, generally resulting from rises in sea levels and regional tectonic subsidence. Every continent has experienced marine incursions, but there is considerable variation in the extent and timing of these events. It has been recognized for some time that marine incursions could play an important biogeographic role in organizing biodiversity (e.g., Roberts 1972). Marine incursions may be underappreciated causes of both extinction and vicariance in terrestrial and freshwater organisms (Wesselingh and Salo 2006). Recently, studies have tested the biogeographic role of marine incursions on resident biota (e.g., Aleixo...

    • NINE Continental-Scale Tectonic Controls of Biogeography and Ecology
      (pp. 145-164)
      FLÁVIO C. T. LIMA and ALEXANDRE C. RIBEIRO

      Fish biogeography in the Neotropical region has been a subject of increasing interest in the last few years. Less than thirty years ago, Weitzman and Weitzman (1982) could still claim that ʺichthyologists have not as yet contributed substantive results to the combined studies of biogeography, species diversification, and evolution of higher fish taxa within South America.ʺ Since then, however, a growing body of information on fish taxonomy, distribution, and phylogenetic relationships has opened a path for a substantial improvement in our understanding of the subject. The first major move toward an adequate assessment of biogeographical patterns presented by South American...

    • TEN An Ecological Perspective on Diversity and Distributions
      (pp. 165-190)
      WILLIAM G. R. CRAMPTON

      The aim of this chapter is to provide an ecological perspective to the historical biogeography of lowland South American tropical fishes, with emphasis on the Amazon Basin. The diversification of this fauna began before South America drifted from Africa, and culminated with the largest nonmarine vertebrate assemblage on the planet, comprising some 2,600 species in the Amazon Basin alone (Reis et al. 2003a). This diversification occurred over a time frame encompassing the entire Cenozoic and much of the late Mesozoic, and in the context of a complex landscape history.

      The unification of population biology and biogeography in the 1960s (MacArthur...

  6. PART TWO Regional Analysis
    • ELEVEN The Amazon-Paraguay Divide
      (pp. 193-202)
      TIAGO P. CARVALHO and JAMES S. ALBERT

      The Paraguay Basin has drained the heart of South America for tens of millions of years, and the origins of the aquatic species that inhabit this river basin have been the subject of scientific investigation for more than a century. Taxonomic affinities with the adjacent and much larger Amazon Basin were postulated in the earliest studies of the Paraguayan fish fauna (Eigenmann 1906; Eigenmann et al. 1907). In a seminal paper entitled ʺThe Fishes of the Beni-Mamoré and Paraguay Basins, and a Discussion of the Origin of the Paraguayan Fauna,ʺ Pearson (1937) provided a very modern discussion of the reasons...

    • TWELVE The Eastern Brazilian Shield
      (pp. 203-210)
      PAULO A. BUCKUP

      The Brazilian Shield comprises the extensive block of South American highlands that extends between the Amazon lowland in the north and the La Plata estuary in the south, being limited in the west by the lowlands of the Madeira and Paraguay rivers, and reaching the coastal plains and rocky shores along the Atlantic border in the east of the continent (Lundberg et al. 1998). The area is formed by an old basement of Precambrian crystalline rocks. These rocks may be exposed (e.g., mountain ranges near Rio de Janeiro) or covered by thick layers of sedimentary rocks (e.g., the extensive Paraná...

    • THIRTEEN The Guiana Shield
      (pp. 211-224)
      NATHAN K. LUJAN and JONATHAN W. ARMBRUSTER

      Highland areas that serve as sources and boundaries for the great rivers of South America can be broadly divided into two categories based on their geologic age and origin. As reviewed elsewhere in this volume (Chapters 15 and 16), the allochthonous terrains and massive crustal deformations of the Andes Mountains that comprise the extremely high-elevation western margin of South America have their origins in diastrophic (distortional) tectonic activity largely limited to the Late Paleogene and Neogene (<25 Ma; Gregory-Wodzicki 2000). In contrast, vast upland regions across much of the interior of the continent have been relatively tectonically quiescent since the...

    • FOURTEEN The Vaupes Arch and Casiquiare Canal: Barriers and Passages
      (pp. 225-242)
      KIRK O. WINEMILLER and STUART C. WILLIS

      This chapter examines the relationship between the fish faunas of the Amazon and Orinoco river basins and distributions of species across the Vaupes Arch region, the major drainage divide in the Llanos region of eastern Colombia and the western limit of the Guiana Shield in Venezuela. Our focus is the differences and similarities in the two faunas and the historical and contemporary geographic and environmental factors that influence fish distributions, speciation, and adaptation. The subject of this chapter overlaps with several other chapters in this volume; consequently, our discussion will be limited to geological events that occurred after the elevation...

    • FIFTEEN Northern South America: Magdalena and Maracaibo Basins
      (pp. 243-258)
      DOUGLAS RODRÍGUEZ-OLARTE, JOSÉ IVÁN MOJICA CORZO and DONALD C. TAPHORN BAECHLE

      The river basins of Northern South America (NSA) vary widely in the taxonomic composition of their freshwater fishes. Rivers of high species richness and very high endemism are interspersed between arid regions with depauperate faunas (Dahl 1971; Mago-Leccia 1970). These variations are products of existing climatic and hydrological conditions and also reflect the dramatic historic transformations that these drainages have undergone. Plate tectonics and the Andean orogeny set the stage for diversification of aquatic biotas of the region (Eigenmann 1920a, 1920b; Albert, Lovejoy, et al. 2006).

      For most of South Americaʹs history as an independent continent the proto-Orinoco-Amazon system emptied...

    • SIXTEEN The Andes: Riding the Tectonic Uplift
      (pp. 259-278)
      SCOTT SCHAEFER

      Among the most prominent landform features of the South American continent, the Andes mountain chain is arguably the most striking in terms of sheer magnitude and complexity. The Andean Cordilleras extend nearly the entire length of the continent, occupy about 17% of the breadth of the continent at their widest point, and cover approximately 9% of the continental surface area. This enormous range of latitude traversed by the Andes contributes to great heterogeneity in climate, vegetation, and landforms. Because the mountains are relatively young, with half of the modern elevation achieved within the last 10 MY, the topographic relief is...

    • SEVENTEEN Nuclear Central America
      (pp. 279-292)
      C. DARRIN HULSEY and HERNÁN LÓPEZ-FERNÁNDEZ

      Nuclear Central America (NCA) is the northernmost region where Neotropical fishes dominate freshwater communities. This area and its fish fauna span numerous political boundaries and include present-day northern Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and southeastern Mexico. In this region, fish with evolutionary links to South America, the Caribbean Antilles, North America, and the sea are distributed across a landscape structured by geologically intricate processes. The geological history of NCA is one of the most convoluted on Earth, with movements along major faults forming a rugged landscape ranging in elevation from sea level to over 5,700 meters. The...

    • EIGHTEEN Not So Fast: A New Take on the Great American Biotic Interchange
      (pp. 293-306)
      PROSANTA CHAKRABARTY and JAMES S. ALBERT

      The prevailing biological view of the closure of the Isthmus of Panama is of a dominant South American fauna rapidly expanding northward via the newly formed land bridge between the continents (Stehli and Webb 1985; Bermingham and Martin 1998; Lomolino et al. 2006). The current diversity of Central American and tropical North American (together Middle American) freshwater fish lineages is largely explained to be the result of explosive radiations that were facilitated by the invasion of South American fishes into new and unoccupied habitats on and across the isthmus. To the contrary, we present data that suggest that the Isthmus...

  7. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 307-318)
  8. LITERATURE CITED
    (pp. 319-366)
  9. NAME INDEX
    (pp. 367-368)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 369-388)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 389-389)