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Diversity 2014, 6(3), 597-632; doi:10.3390/d6030597

Patterns of Macroinvertebrate and Fish Diversity in Freshwater Sulphide Springs

1
Division of Biology, Kansas State University, 116 Ackert Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
2
División Académica de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco, Villahermosa, C.P. 86150, Mexico
3
Texas Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, 500 East McCarty Lane, San Marcos, TX 78666, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 April 2014 / Revised: 31 July 2014 / Accepted: 29 August 2014 / Published: 18 September 2014
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Abstract

Extreme environments are characterised by the presence of physicochemical stressors and provide unique study systems to address problems in evolutionary ecology research. Sulphide springs provide an example of extreme freshwater environments; because hydrogen sulphide’s adverse physiological effects induce mortality in metazoans even at micromolar concentrations. Sulphide springs occur worldwide, but while microbial communities in sulphide springs have received broad attention, little is known about macroinvertebrates and fish inhabiting these toxic environments. We reviewed qualitative occurrence records of sulphide spring faunas on a global scale and present a quantitative case study comparing diversity patterns in sulphidic and adjacent non-sulphidic habitats across replicated river drainages in Southern Mexico. While detailed studies in most regions of the world remain scarce, available data suggests that sulphide spring faunas are characterised by low species richness. Dipterans (among macroinvertebrates) and cyprinodontiforms (among fishes) appear to dominate the communities in these habitats. At least in fish, there is evidence for the presence of highly endemic species and populations exclusively inhabiting sulphide springs. We provide a detailed discussion of traits that might predispose certain taxonomic groups to colonize sulphide springs, how colonizers subsequently adapt to cope with sulphide toxicity, and how adaptation may be linked to speciation processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: adaptation; biodiversity; cyprinodontiformes; diptera; ecological speciation; endemism; evolution; extreme environments; hydrogen sulphide; poeciliidae adaptation; biodiversity; cyprinodontiformes; diptera; ecological speciation; endemism; evolution; extreme environments; hydrogen sulphide; poeciliidae
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Greenway, R.; Arias-Rodriguez, L.; Diaz, P.; Tobler, M. Patterns of Macroinvertebrate and Fish Diversity in Freshwater Sulphide Springs. Diversity 2014, 6, 597-632.

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