The Freshwater Paradox

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Even though less than 1% of Earth’s water is freshwater, it’s the home for 50% of fish species. This is the Freshwater Paradox.

To learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
– Speciation: The formation of new and distinct species.
– Sympatric speciation: The evolution of new species from ancestral species while both continue to inhabit the same geographic region.
– Allopatric speciation: Speciation that occurs when a population becomes separated by a geographic barrier.
– Adaptive radiation: The diversification of a group of organisms into forms filling different ecological niches.

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Thank you to Dr. Elizabeth Miller for lending their time and expertise to this video.

Betancur‐R, Ricardo, Guillermo Ortí, and Robert Alexander Pyron. “Fossil‐based comparative analyses reveal ancient marine ancestry erased by extinction in ray‐finned fishes.” Ecology Letters 18.5 (2015): 441-450.

Bowen, Brian W., et al. “The origins of tropical marine biodiversity.” Trends in ecology & evolution 28.6 (2013): 359-366.

Burress, E. D., et al. “Phylogenomics of pike cichlids (Cichlidae: Crenicichla): the rapid ecological speciation of an incipient species flock.” Journal of evolutionary biology 31.1 (2018): 14-30.

Carrete Vega, Greta, and John J. Wiens. “Why are there so few fish in the sea?.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279.1737 (2012): 2323-2329.

Dawson, Michael N. “Species richness, habitable volume, and species densities in freshwater, the sea, and on land.” Frontiers of Biogeography 4.3 (2012).

Deutsch, Curtis, Justin L. Penn, and Brad Seibel. “Metabolic trait diversity shapes marine biogeography.” Nature 585.7826 (2020): 557-562.

Elmer, Kathryn R., and Axel Meyer. “Sympatric speciation without borders?.” (2010): 1991-1993.

Hendry, Andrew P. “Ecological speciation! Or the lack thereof?.” Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 66.8 (2009): 1383-1398.

McCune, A. R., and N. R. Lovejoy. 1998. The relative rate of sympatric and allopatric speciation in fishes. Pp. 172–185 in D. J. Howard and S. H. Berlocher, eds. Endless forms: species and speciation. Oxford Univ. Press, New York, NY.

McDermott, Amy. “Inner Workings: Reeling in answers to the “freshwater fish paradox”.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118.36 (2021).

McGee, Matthew D., et al. “The ecological and genomic basis of explosive adaptive radiation.” Nature 586.7827 (2020): 75-79.

Miller, Elizabeth Christina. “Comparing diversification rates in lakes, rivers, and the sea.” Evolution 75.8 (2021): 2055-2073.

Seehausen, Ole, and Catherine E. Wagner. “Speciation in freshwater fishes.” Annual review of ecology, evolution, and systematics 45 (2014): 621-651.

Seehausen, Ole. “Process and pattern in cichlid radiations–inferences for understanding unusually high rates of evolutionary diversification.” New Phytologist 207.2 (2015): 304-312.

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