Convergence, divergence, and homogenization in the ecological structure of emydid turtle communities: The effects of phylogeny and dispersal

Patrick R. Stephens, John J Wiens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies that have explored the origins of patterns of community structure from a phylogenetic perspective have generally found either convergence (similarity) in community structure between regions through adaptive evolution or lack of convergence (dissimilarity) due to phylogenetic conservatism in the divergent ecological characteristics of lineages inhabiting different regions. We used a phylogenetic approach to document a third pattern in the structure of emydid turtle communities. Emydid communities in southeastern North America tend to have a higher proportion of aquatic species than those in the northeast. This pattern reflects phylogenetic conservatism in the ecology and biogeography of two basal emydid clades, limiting convergence in community structure between these regions. However, differences in community structure between northeastern and southeastern North America have also been homogenized considerably by the dispersal of species with phylogenetically conserved ecological characteristics between regions. This pattern of ecologically conservative dispersal may be important in many continental and oceanic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-254
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume164
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes

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homogenization
turtle
turtles
phylogeny
community structure
divergence
phylogenetics
species dispersal
biogeography
ecology
effect
North America

Keywords

  • Biogeography
  • Community ecology
  • Community structure
  • Convergence
  • Dispersal
  • Emydidae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Convergence, divergence, and homogenization in the ecological structure of emydid turtle communities : The effects of phylogeny and dispersal. / Stephens, Patrick R.; Wiens, John J.

In: American Naturalist, Vol. 164, No. 2, 08.2004, p. 244-254.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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