Tribot, A.S, Carabeux, Q., Deter, J., Claverie, T., Villeger, S., & Mouquet, N. (2018).

Scientific Reports, 8, 11733, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-29637-7

Key message : Here we show the results of an online photographic questionnaire completed by 8,000 participants whereby preferences were assessed for a set of 116 reef fishes. Based on these preferences, we compared the functional richness, i.e. the amount of functional space filled, by groups of fishes based on their perceived attractiveness. We present evidence indicating that the least attractive coral reef fishes have a much higher functional richness than the most attractive species. Our results highlight the extent to which species aesthetic values’ may be disconnected from their ecological values and could be misleading for conservation purposes.

Functional space of the species pool. PC1 and PC2 represent the two first axes of the functional space and vary according to schooling and position for PC1 and mobility and activity for PC2. Each black point represents the position of each species within the functional space. The functional space filled by the first and ninth deciles of the aesthetic score distribution (i.e. the 18 species with the highest and lowest aesthetic scores) are represented by the blue and pink areas, respectively.

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OTHER TOPICS: Aesthetics of Biodiversity, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Functioning, Biogeography, Macroecology & Ecophylogenetics, Experimental Evolution, Functional Biogeography, Functional Rarity, Metacommunities, Metaecosystems, Reviews and Synthesis, Trophic Biogeography & Metaweb