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Comparative morphology and evolutionary relationships of the Sparidae (Teleostei: Percoidei)

Day, Julia Jane; (2000) Comparative morphology and evolutionary relationships of the Sparidae (Teleostei: Percoidei). Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The comparative morphology of the family Sparidae is described comprehensively for the first time and is used to formulate character data for phylogenetic analysis. The data is found to be particularly character rich in areas such as the braincase, jaws and gill arches. Phylogenetic analysis, using PAUP* was performed in order to resolve the evolutionary relationships for 29 sparid genera and representatives sparoid families: Centracanthidae; Lethrinidae; Nemipteridae. Parsimony analysis of this data yielded three equally parsimonious trees. The Sparidae constitute a monophyletic group, with the inclusion of Centracanthidae, which is embedded within cladistically derived sparids. A grouping of derived sparids are found to be reasonably well supported when judged by Bremer support and bootstrapping, while relationships amongest those taxa more basal are found to be weakly supported. Further analysis of the data is assessed from 1) character quality through application of Le Quesne probabilities; 2) data partitioning; 3) influence of outgroups; 4) effects of ordering and 5) recoding, using non-additive binary coding. These analyses also support a hypothesis of relationships amongest derived sparids that is both well supported and resolved. However, the relationships of basal sparids are sensitive to these analyses, suggesting that not much confidence may be placed in the revealed theories of their interrelationships. The conflict between alternative trees reflects the high levels of homoplasy, which is not uncommon for percoid data sets. The geographic distribution is explained using three methods of cladistic biogeography, based on irreversible and reversible methods of ancestral area analysis and dispersal-vicariance analysis. The Indo-Pacific is identified as the most likely ancestral area for the Sparidae. Reconstruction of the evolution of feeding strategies among sparids suggests that there is a progressive transition from generalist to specialized feeders with four assemblages recognized. The diversification of feeding strategies within the Sparidae may have had important consequences for the evolution of the group which is discussed. Fossil sparid material from the Early to Middle Eocene is redescribed and included in the Recent matrix for further phylogenetic analyses. Comparison of the fossil material warrants the erection of a new genus and species, Ellaserrata monksi and a new genus Abromasta microdon is erected for Pagellus microdon. A minimum age of origin for the group can be postulated at 55Ma.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Comparative morphology and evolutionary relationships of the Sparidae (Teleostei: Percoidei)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Biological sciences; Earth sciences; Phylogenetic analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10110308
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