The Amazonian dwarf cichlid Apistogramma agassizii (Steindachner, 1875) is a geographic mosaic of potentially tens of species: Conservation implications
|Author(s)||Estivals Guillain1, 2, 3, 4, Duponchelle Fabrice2, 3, 4, 5, Romer Uwe2, 3, 4, 6, Garcia-Davila Carmen2, 3, 4, 7, Airola Etienne2, 3, 4, Deleglise Margot2, 3, 4, Renno Jean-Francois2, 3, 4, 8|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : Sorbonne Univ, UPMC, Ecole Doctorale Sci Nat & Homme ED 227, Paris, France.
2 : Inst Invest Amazonia Peruana IIAP Peru, Lab Mixte Int Evolut & Domesticat Ichtyofaune Ama, Iquitos, Peru.
3 : Univ Autonoma Gabriel Rene Moreno UAGRM Bolivia, Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
4 : IRD Inst Rech Dev, Marseille, France.
5 : Univ Montpellier, CNRS, MARBEC, IRD, Montpellier, France.
6 : Univ Trier, Inst Biogeog UTIB, Anim Res Grp, Trier, Germany.
7 : Inst Invest Amazonia Peruana IIAP, AQUAREC, Lab Biol & Genet Mol, Iquitos, Peru.
8 : IRD, UMR Diversite Adaptat & Dev Plantes DIADE, Montpellier, France.
|Source||Aquatic Conservation-marine And Freshwater Ecosystems (1052-7613) (Wiley), 2020-08 , Vol. 30 , N. 8 , P. 1521-1539|
|WOS© Times Cited||1|
|Keyword(s)||biodiversity, biogeography, fish, fishing, floodplain, genetics, river|
Assessing biodiversity and understanding how it works is a prerequisite for species conservation. The Amazon basin is one of the main biodiversity hotspots where fish are heavily exploited for ornamental purposes. The ornamental trade heavily exploits the genusApistogramma, which is one of the most species-rich among Neotropical cichlids with 94 formally described species. This number is certainly underestimated owing to the limitations of conventional taxonomy, which is still too often based solely on morphological criteria and sometimes on few individuals. Most species of this genus have a high degree of endemism and are highly prized on the ornamental market, which could put them at risk. A few species are supposed to have extensive distributions, and in particularApistogramma agassizii, present from the Amazon estuary up to the Ucayali and Maranon rivers in Peru. This study assessed the taxonomic status of 1,151 specimens ofA. agassiziicollected from 35 sites around Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon. On the basis of molecular analyses (nuclear and mitochondrial DNA) and mate choice experiments, at least three biological species within the nominalA. agassiziiwere evidenced in the sampling area, which is extremely small compared with the known distribution of the species as initially described. According to the molecular calibrations, these three species would have diverged during the Plio-Pleistocene. Two of them seem to be endemic from small sub-basins, one from the Nanay River and the other from the Apayacu/Ampiyacu systems. A possible scenario that may explain the evolutionary history of these species is proposed. The conservation implications of these results on the estimation of the diversity ofA. agassizii, ofApistogrammaspecies in general, and of other Amazonian cichlids are discussed.