Fish species richness in the Amazon basin, which contains 15% of the world’s known freshwater species, follows an unexpected pattern, decreasing downriver from west to east, according to a new study by an international team, including researchers from France. The work, reported in Science Advances, leverages the most comprehensive freshwater fish biodiversity database available and the results suggest history played an important role in species dispersal in the basin, with fish diversity originally progressing westward, but then shifting eastward for some groups after the Amazon River changed course towards the Atlantic between one and nine million years ago.
The French members of the team are from the UMR EDB (Laboratoire Évolution et Diversité Biologique) in Toulouse and the IRD at the Université de Montpellier.
Read the research paper: Unexpected fish diversity gradients in the Amazon basin. T. Oberdorff et al. Science Advances 10.1126/sciadv.aav8681
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