Paris, 29 May 2014

Ancient reefs preserved tropical marine biodiversity

Habitat refugia in which coral reefs have remained stable over time played a key role in preserving tropical marine fish biodiversity, a study highlights. Researchers at the Laboratoire Ecologie des Systèmes Marins Côtiers (CNRS/IRD/Universités Montpellier 1 and 2/IFREMER) and the Laboratoire CoRéUs 2 (IRD) have shown that the current distribution of tropical marine biodiversity is mainly due to the persistence of such refugia during glacial periods in the Quaternary. This imprint left by history thus has a greater impact on tropical fish biodiversity than contemporary environmental factors such as water temperature and reef area. The study, carried out in collaboration with several international teams, demonstrates the need to protect certain irreplaceable habitats that allow species to persist during periods of climate change. It is published in the journal Science dated 30 May 2014.

To download the press release: Press release_Reef biodiversity



Quaternary coral reef refugia preserved fish diversity, L. Pellissier, F. Leprieur, V. Parravicini, P.F. Cowman, M. Kulbicki, G. Litsios, S.M. Olsen, M.S. Wisz, D.R. Bellwood & D. Mouillot, Science, 30 May 2014.
DOI: 10.1156/science.1249853


Researcher Université Montpellier 2 l Fabien Leprieur l T 00 33 4 67 14 39 26 l

Researcher Université Montpellier 2 l David Mouillot l T 00 33 4 67 14 42 97 l

CNRS Press Office l Lucie Debroux l T 00 33 1 44 96 43 09 l


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