We analyzed network level specialization for eight Indo-Pacific networks of
obligate, mutualistic gobies and shrimps, and elucidated ecological and evolutionary
factors driving specialization. To accomplish this we collected and analyzed data on
species pairings in Moorea, French Polynesia (lat. -17.49, long. -149.84), Kenting,
Taiwan (lat. 21.95, long. 120.76), and Kimbe Bay, New Britain, Papua New Guinea
(PNG; lat. -5.50, long. 150.12), and combined these observations with previously
published data from Seychelles Islands (Polunin and Lubbock 1977), Great Barrier
Reef, Australia (Cummins 1979), Red Sea, Israel (Karplus et al. 1981), Japan
(Yanagisawa 1984), and the Gulf of Thailand, Thailand (Nakasone and Manthachitra
1986). We also systematically collected and analyzed habitat data for shrimps and
gobies in Moorea, Taiwan, and PNG. We found specialization was affected by
variability in habitat use for both gobies and shrimps and by phylogenetic history
for shrimps. Habitat use was phylogenetically conserved among shrimp, and thus
effects of shrimp phylogeny on partner choice were mediated in part by habitat. By
contrast, habitat use and pairing patterns in gobies were not related to
phylogenetic history. This asymmetry appears to result from evolutionary constraints
on partner use in shrimps and convergence among distantly-related gobies to utilize
burrows provided by multiple shrimp species. Results indicate that the evolution of
mutualism is affected by life history characteristics that transcend environments
and that different factors constrain interactions in disparate ecosystems.
These data are associated with this publication: Thompson AR, Adam TC, Hultgren KM, Thacker CE (in press).
Ecology and evolution affect network structure in an intimate marine mutualism. The American Naturalist.
This is a collection of short term studies spanning 1972 to 2011.