Diversification rates and species richness across the Tree of Life

Joshua P. Scholl, John J Wiens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Species richness varies dramatically among clades across the Tree of Life, by over a million-fold in some cases (e.g. placozoans versus arthropods). Two major explanations for differences in richness among clades are the cladeage hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades are older) and the diversification-rate hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades diversify more rapidly, where diversification rate is the net balance of speciation and extinction over time). Here, we examine patterns of variation in diversification rates across the Tree of Life. We address how rates vary across higher taxa, whether rates within higher taxa are related to the subclades within them, and how diversification rates of clades are related to their species richness. We find substantial variation in diversification rates, with rates in plants nearly twice as high as in animals, and rates in some eukaryotes approximately 10-fold faster than prokaryotes. Rates for each kingdom-level clade are then significantly related to the subclades within them. Although caution is needed when interpreting relationships between diversification rates and richness, a positive relationship between the two is not inevitable. We find that variation in diversification rates seems to explain most variation in richness among clades across the Tree of Life, in contrast to the conclusions of previous studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume283
Issue number1838
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 14 2016

Fingerprint

Animals
species richness
species diversity
Arthropods
prokaryotic cells
Eukaryota
eukaryotic cells
arthropods
extinction
rate
animals
fold
prokaryote
eukaryote
arthropod
animal

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Diversification rates
  • Eukaryotes
  • Phylogeny
  • Prokaryotes
  • Species richness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Diversification rates and species richness across the Tree of Life. / Scholl, Joshua P.; Wiens, John J.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 283, No. 1838, 14.09.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{2ae4c91908c741d19d77584d6fb3d9a8,
title = "Diversification rates and species richness across the Tree of Life",
abstract = "Species richness varies dramatically among clades across the Tree of Life, by over a million-fold in some cases (e.g. placozoans versus arthropods). Two major explanations for differences in richness among clades are the cladeage hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades are older) and the diversification-rate hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades diversify more rapidly, where diversification rate is the net balance of speciation and extinction over time). Here, we examine patterns of variation in diversification rates across the Tree of Life. We address how rates vary across higher taxa, whether rates within higher taxa are related to the subclades within them, and how diversification rates of clades are related to their species richness. We find substantial variation in diversification rates, with rates in plants nearly twice as high as in animals, and rates in some eukaryotes approximately 10-fold faster than prokaryotes. Rates for each kingdom-level clade are then significantly related to the subclades within them. Although caution is needed when interpreting relationships between diversification rates and richness, a positive relationship between the two is not inevitable. We find that variation in diversification rates seems to explain most variation in richness among clades across the Tree of Life, in contrast to the conclusions of previous studies.",
keywords = "Animals, Diversification rates, Eukaryotes, Phylogeny, Prokaryotes, Species richness",
author = "Scholl, {Joshua P.} and Wiens, {John J}",
year = "2016",
month = "9",
day = "14",
doi = "10.1098/rspb.2016.1334",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "283",
journal = "Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological sciences",
issn = "0962-8436",
publisher = "Royal Society of London",
number = "1838",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Diversification rates and species richness across the Tree of Life

AU - Scholl, Joshua P.

AU - Wiens, John J

PY - 2016/9/14

Y1 - 2016/9/14

N2 - Species richness varies dramatically among clades across the Tree of Life, by over a million-fold in some cases (e.g. placozoans versus arthropods). Two major explanations for differences in richness among clades are the cladeage hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades are older) and the diversification-rate hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades diversify more rapidly, where diversification rate is the net balance of speciation and extinction over time). Here, we examine patterns of variation in diversification rates across the Tree of Life. We address how rates vary across higher taxa, whether rates within higher taxa are related to the subclades within them, and how diversification rates of clades are related to their species richness. We find substantial variation in diversification rates, with rates in plants nearly twice as high as in animals, and rates in some eukaryotes approximately 10-fold faster than prokaryotes. Rates for each kingdom-level clade are then significantly related to the subclades within them. Although caution is needed when interpreting relationships between diversification rates and richness, a positive relationship between the two is not inevitable. We find that variation in diversification rates seems to explain most variation in richness among clades across the Tree of Life, in contrast to the conclusions of previous studies.

AB - Species richness varies dramatically among clades across the Tree of Life, by over a million-fold in some cases (e.g. placozoans versus arthropods). Two major explanations for differences in richness among clades are the cladeage hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades are older) and the diversification-rate hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades diversify more rapidly, where diversification rate is the net balance of speciation and extinction over time). Here, we examine patterns of variation in diversification rates across the Tree of Life. We address how rates vary across higher taxa, whether rates within higher taxa are related to the subclades within them, and how diversification rates of clades are related to their species richness. We find substantial variation in diversification rates, with rates in plants nearly twice as high as in animals, and rates in some eukaryotes approximately 10-fold faster than prokaryotes. Rates for each kingdom-level clade are then significantly related to the subclades within them. Although caution is needed when interpreting relationships between diversification rates and richness, a positive relationship between the two is not inevitable. We find that variation in diversification rates seems to explain most variation in richness among clades across the Tree of Life, in contrast to the conclusions of previous studies.

KW - Animals

KW - Diversification rates

KW - Eukaryotes

KW - Phylogeny

KW - Prokaryotes

KW - Species richness

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84987762616&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84987762616&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1098/rspb.2016.1334

DO - 10.1098/rspb.2016.1334

M3 - Article

C2 - 27605507

AN - SCOPUS:84987762616

VL - 283

JO - Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological sciences

JF - Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological sciences

SN - 0962-8436

IS - 1838

ER -