Diadromy, broadly defined here as the regular movement between freshwater and marine habitats at some time during their lives, characterizes numerous fish and invertebrate taxa. Explanations for the evolution of diadromy have focused on ecological requirements of individual taxa, rarely reflecting a comparative, phylogenetic component. When incorporated into phylogenetic studies, center of origin hypotheses have been used to infer dispersal routes. The occurrence and distribution of diadromy throughout fish (aquatic non-tetrapod vertebrate) phylogeny are used here to interpret the evolution of this life history pattern and demonstrate the relationship between life history and ecology in cladistic biogeography. Cladistic biogeography has been mischaracterized as rejecting ecology. On the contrary, cladistic biogeography has been explicit in interpreting ecology or life history patterns within the broader framework of phylogenetic patterns. Today, in inferred ancient life history patterns, such as diadromy, we see remnants of previously broader distribution patterns, such as antitropicality or bipolarity, that spanned both marine and freshwater habitats. Biogeographic regions that span ocean basins and incorporate ocean margins better explain the relationship among diadromy, its evolution, and its distribution than do biogeographic regions centered on continents.
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Vol. 95 • No. 2