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.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Supplementary Data

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error