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The authors demonstrate that plate tectonics has played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics just as it does in terrestrial systems. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. Using this understanding they developed a mechanistic model based on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal which gives realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes.
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An article by the GASPAR group
Leprieur F., Descombes P., Gaboriau T., Cowman P.F., Parravicini V., Kulbicki M., Melián C.J., de Santana C.N., Heine C., Mouillot D., Bellwood D.R., Pellissier L (2016) Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics. Nature Communications 7: 11461. <doi: 10.1038/ncomms11461>