Marine bivalves of the Florida Keys: discovered biodiversity
A survey of marine bivalve biodiversity in the Florida Keys, an island archipelago off southern Florida, was compiled from original collecting, museum specimens and the literature. Assembly of over 6000 records resulted in 325 species, 47% of which can be considered common to abundant in the Keys. This represents a 100% increase over the previously known fauna, largely attributable to critical review of museum specimens. Capture of species occurrences from the literature, especially when non-traditional sources (newsletters, agency reports) are excluded, is shown to be least effective, producing only 44% of the total. Bivalve distributions within the Keys show that the fauna is tropical. One-third of the species are wide ranging along the island chain; however, a latitudinal cline in faunal similarity exists from the Upper Keys southwestwards to Dry Tortugas. The fauna of Florida Bay is the most divergent within the study region and also compared to other, ecologically complex, western Atlantic tropical–subtropical regions. Limited historical records indicate little species turnover in the Keys, although population reductions along the main highway and habitat shifts (from natural to artificial substrata) are evident. These results have implications for biodiversity survey methods and, more locally, for management of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
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The Evolutionary Biology of the Bivalvia
Bivalves are key components of Recent marine and freshwater ecosystems and have been so for most of the Phanerozoic. Their rich and long fossil record, combined with their abundance and diversity in modern seas, has made bivalves the ideal subject of palaeobiological and evolutionary studies. Despite this, however, topics such as the early evolution of the class, relationships between various taxa and the life habits of some key extinct forms have remained remarkably unclear.
In the last few years there has been enormous expansion in the range of techniques available to both palaeontologists and zoologists and key discoveries of new faunas which shed new light on the evolutionary biology of this important class.
This volume integrates palaeontological and zoological approaches and sheds new light on the course of bivalve evolution. This series of 32 original papers tackles key issues including: up to date molecular phylogenies of major groups; new hard and soft tissue morphological cladistic analyses; reassessments of the early Palaeozoic radiation; important new observations on form and functional morphology; analyses of biogeography and biodiversity; novel (palaeo)ecological studies