Global determinants of freshwater and marine fish genetic diversity

Genetic diversity is estimated to be declining faster than species diversity under escalating threats, but its spatial distribution remains poorly documented at the global scale. Theory predicts that similar processes should foster congruent spatial patterns of genetic and species diversity, but empirical studies are scarce. Using a mined database of 50,588 georeferenced mitochondrial DNA barcode sequences (COI) for 3,815 marine and 1,611 freshwater fish species respectively, we examined the correlation between genetic diversity and species diversity and their global distributions in relation to climate and geography. Genetic diversity showed a clear spatial organisation, but a weak association with species diversity for both marine and freshwater species. We found a predominantly positive relationship between genetic diversity and sea surface temperature for marine species. Genetic diversity of freshwater species varied primarily across the regional basins and was negatively correlated with average river slope. The detection of genetic diversity patterns suggests that conservation measures should consider mismatching spatial signals across multiple facets of biodiversity.

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Manel Stéphanie, Guerin Pierre-Edouard, Mouillot David, Blanchet Simon, Velez Laure, Albouy Camille, Pellissier Loïc (2020). Global determinants of freshwater and marine fish genetic diversity. Nature Communications. 11 (1). 692 (9p.).,

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