MEPS 601:269-271 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12701

COMMENT
The cost of ignoring cryptic diversity in macroecological studies: Comment on Martínez et al. (2017)

Gustavo Mattos1,*, Paulo C. Paiva1, Mariana Mateos2, Pilar A. Haye3, Luis A. Hurtado2

1Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, CEP 21941-902, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77840-2258, USA
3Departamento de Biología Marina, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar, Universidad Católica del Norte, Larrondo 1281, Coquimbo, Chile
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Despite ample evidence indicating that Excirolana braziliensis corresponds to a species complex, Martínez et al. (2017; Mar Ecol Prog Ser 583:137-148) considered this isopod as a single species with a wide distribution along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the Americas, to evaluate the abundant-centre hypothesis (ACH). Multiple studies, however, have documented the presence of highly divergent lineages within this isopod, some of which may have separated millions of years ago, and with morphological differences reported among some of the lineages. The assumption of a single widespread species has led to misleading inferences regarding the underlying causes of ecological variation in this isopod, as indicated in recent phylogeographic studies. Therefore, it is surprising that a new macroecological study is considering E. braziliensis as a single widespread species again. The cost of ignoring its cryptic diversity is that the Martínez et al. (2017) study does not really contribute to our understanding of the ACH.


KEY WORDS: Species complex · Evolutionary lineages · Phylogeography · Cirolanidae · Sandy beaches


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Cite this article as: Mattos G, Paiva PC, Mateos M, Haye PA, Hurtado LA (2018) The cost of ignoring cryptic diversity in macroecological studies: Comment on Martínez et al. (2017). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 601:269-271. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12701

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