The coral reefs of the Red Sea are host to a diverse fish fauna. Ichthyofauna studies began in the Red Sea during expeditions undertaken by some of the earliest European naturalists. In the more than 200 years that have passed, much has been learned about Red Sea fishes. Nonetheless, many knowledge gaps remain. Although it is a relatively young sea, the geologic history of the Red Sea provides an interesting context for many evolutionary biology studies. The strong environmental gradients within the Red Sea and the broader Arabian region may play a role in structuring some observed biodiversity patterns, perhaps most notably in the context of high numbers of Arabian and Red Sea endemics. As such, Red Sea fishes provide ideal opportunities for connectivity studies, both based on adult movement and larval dispersal patterns. These studies are increasingly important as multiple modern “mega-developments” are planned on Red Sea shores in locations where a lack of scientific information may still hinder conservation efforts and planning for sustainable development. Coupled with increasing pressures from global climate change, each of the Red Sea countries faces unique challenges for the preservation of the rich biological resources for which their reefs are historically known.
KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Data acknowledgement: This research has made use of data and software tools provided by Wildbook for Whale Sharks, an online mark-recapture database operated by the non-profit scientific organization Wild Me with support from public donations and the Qatar Whale Shark Research Project.