Historical processes enhance patterns off diversity along latitudinal gradients

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Scopus citations

Abstract

One of the more vexing issues in ecology is how historical processes affect contemporary patterns of biodiversity. Accordingly, few models have been presented. Two corollary models (centre of origin, time-for-speciation) can be used to make quantitative predictions characterizing the tropical niche conservatism hypothesis and describe diversification as diffusion and subsequent cladogenesis of species away from the place of origin of a higher taxon in the tropics. Predictions derived from such models are: (i) species richness declines toward the periphery of the range of a higher taxon; (ii) taxa are more derived toward the periphery than the centre; (iii) ages of taxa are lower toward the periphery than the centre; and (iv) ages and measures of derivedness are less variable toward the periphery of the range of a higher taxon. I tested these predictions to better understand the formation of one of the most ubiquitous patterns of biodiversity-the latitudinal gradient in species richness. Results indicate well-supported predictions for New World leaf-nosed bats and that diversification has had strong influences on latitudinal gradients of species richness. A better understanding of how evolutionary diversification of taxa contributes to formation of patterns of species richness along environmental gradients is necessary to fully understand spatial variation in biodiversity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2283-2289
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume273
Issue number1599
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 22 2006

Keywords

  • Bats
  • Biodiversity
  • Diversification
  • Historical processes
  • History
  • Latitudinal gradient

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Historical processes enhance patterns off diversity along latitudinal gradients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this