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Abstract

After a 12-million-year (My) process, the Central American Isthmus was completed 2.8 My ago. Its emergence affected current flow, salinity, temperature, and primary productivity of the Pacific and the Atlantic and launched marine organisms of the two oceans into independent evolutionary trajectories. Those that did not go extinct have diverged. As no vicariant event is better dated than the isthmus, molecular divergence between species pairs on its two coasts is of interest. A total of 38 regions of DNA have been sequenced in 9 clades of echinoids, 38 of crustaceans, 42 of fishes, and 26 of molluscs with amphi-isthmian subclades. Of these, 34 are likely to have been separated at the final stages of Isthmus completion, 73 split earlier and 8 maintained post-closure genetic contact. Reproductive isolation has developed between several isolates, but is complete in only the sea urchin . Adaptive divergence can be seen in life history parameters. Lower primary productivity in the Caribbean has led to the evolution of higher levels of maternal provisioning in marine invertebrates.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.38.091206.095815
2008-12-01
2024-06-13
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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