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Two oceans, two taxa and one mode of development: latitudinal diversity patterns of South American crabs and test for possible causal processes

Authors

  • Anna Astorga,

    1. Estación Costera de Investigaciones Marinas and Center for Advanced Studies in Ecology and Biodiversity, Departamento de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Casilla 114-D, Santiago, C.P. 6513667, Chile
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  • Miriam Fernández,

    Corresponding author
    1. Estación Costera de Investigaciones Marinas and Center for Advanced Studies in Ecology and Biodiversity, Departamento de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Casilla 114-D, Santiago, C.P. 6513667, Chile
      Correspondence: E-mail: mfernand@genes.bio.puc.cl
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  • Enrique E. Boschi,

    1. Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero, Paseo V. Ocampo N°1-Casilla 175, 7600-Mar del Plata, Argentina
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  • Nelson Lagos

    1. Estación Costera de Investigaciones Marinas and Center for Advanced Studies in Ecology and Biodiversity, Departamento de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Casilla 114-D, Santiago, C.P. 6513667, Chile
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Correspondence: E-mail: mfernand@genes.bio.puc.cl

Abstract

The latitudinal gradient of species diversity is a widely recognized but poorly understood phenomenon. In marine systems, differences in dispersal abilities among species may pose an additional problem in identifying the processes that affect diversity. We compared latitudinal diversity gradients along two parallel continental coasts, the east and west coasts of South America, of two groups of Crustacea (Brachyura and Anomura), which exclusively exhibit planktonic development. We also evaluated the species-area and the energy-input hypotheses. Diversity decreased with increasing latitude for both groups in both oceans. Results suggest that the spatial structure of sea surface temperature (SST) explains diversity of both groups at large, but not small (< 5°), scales. Range size and latitude were not correlated. We hypothesize that SST differentially affects taxa with contrasting modes of development, influencing patterns of diversity. We suggest that developmental modes of marine organisms should be considered in future diversity analyses.

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