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Free Content Speciation in Spiny Lobsters—Clues to Climatically-Induced Changes in Ocean Circulation Patterns

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Allopatric speciation in spiny lobsters is accelerated during periods when long-lived teleplanic phyllosoma larvae are retained within more distinctly separated ocean surface circulatory systems. The example is given of a widely-distributed Indo-Pacific spiny lobster Panulirus homarus which occurs in three distinct parts of the Indian Ocean, as three readily distinguishable varieties or subspecies. A degree of hybridization is evident where subspecies overlap. Inferred surface circulation patterns during Pleistocene glacial periods suggest that more complete separation of larval “pools” due to changed circulation systems caused by altered wind patterns and intensities, together with shoaling ridges and rises (associated with lowered sea level) may have promoted the emergence of these new subspecies.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1993-11-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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