This proposal aim to develop the great potential of reef-fishes as model taxa for biogeographical and macroecological analysis of reef areas in the Atlantic. Detailed large-scale studies of Atlantic reef fishes were always hampered by the lack of reliable geographical distribution of species. Now a multi-institutional international team of researchers is building the most accurate species distribution database possible for the entire tropical and subtropical Atlantic. This extensive new database covering 2404 species from 74 families will be used to 1) synthesize current knowledge of reef fish diversity and endemism in the Atlantic, 2) search for large-scale patterns and affinities among zoogeographical provinces, and 3) advance our understanding of biogeographical and macroecological marine patterns through the test of a series of hypothesis including the operation of biogeographical barriers, dispersal potential, biotic invasions, and the stepping stones concept. Problem Statement Reef fish as model taxa Any shallow (< 100m) tropical/subtropical benthic fish, which occurs associated
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