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FIGURE 3.3 Distribution of global phytoplankton pigment concentration (adapted with permission from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration). Among reef areas, phytoplankton pigments are particularly abundant (0.3–0.4 mg/m3) off the Arabian Peninsula and west coast of India/Sri Lanka, around the Malay Peninsula/Indonesia, and around New Guinea/northern Australia. Pigment concentrations decline to 0.15 mg/m3 in a relatively narrow band oceanward from the above areas; immediately offshore from the continental margin of western Australia, eastern Africa, Madagascar; and in an equatorial band extending westward from the central East Pacific. Still further offshore, phytoplankton pigments decline (0.05 mg/m3) until they reach the very low levels characteristic of the centers of the northern and southern gyres of the Indian and Pacific Oceans (<0.05 mg/m3, smallest oceanic circles). We drew black lines for each of these contours by eye from map coloration.

FIGURE 3.3 Distribution of global phytoplankton pigment concentration (adapted with permission from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration). Among reef areas, phytoplankton pigments are particularly abundant (0.3–0.4 mg/m3) off the Arabian Peninsula and west coast of India/Sri Lanka, around the Malay Peninsula/Indonesia, and around New Guinea/northern Australia. Pigment concentrations decline to 0.15 mg/m3 in a relatively narrow band oceanward from the above areas; immediately offshore from the continental margin of western Australia, eastern Africa, Madagascar; and in an equatorial band extending westward from the central East Pacific. Still further offshore, phytoplankton pigments decline (0.05 mg/m3) until they reach the very low levels characteristic of the centers of the northern and southern gyres of the Indian and Pacific Oceans (<0.05 mg/m3, smallest oceanic circles). We drew black lines for each of these contours by eye from map coloration.

extensive terrestrial area and soil) vs. low (carbonate atolls with little elevation or nutrient runoff) mid-Pacific islands. The fact that terrestrial runoff elevates productivity around high vs. low Pacific islands, enhancing the survival of phytoplankton-feeding starfish larvae and fostering crown of thorns starfish population explosions (Birkeland, 1982; Brodie et al., 2005; Houk et al., 2007), suggests that productivity can have important effects on larval recruitment, local reef populations, and hence reef biodiversity.

Center of Origin Hypothesis

“Successful” lineages originate in the East Indies; species subsequently migrate into peripheral regions, where they remain as relicts; gaps in species distributions suggest high extinction as well as origination in the East



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