Microhabitat and climatic niche change explain patterns of diversification among frog families

Daniel S. Moen, John J Wiens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A major goal of ecology and evolutionary biology is to explain patterns of species richness among clades. Differences in rates of net diversification (speciation minus extinction over time) may often explain these patterns, but the factors that drive variation in diversification rates remain uncertain. Three important candidates are climatic niche position (e.g., whether clades are primarily temperate or tropical), rates of climatic niche change among species within clades, and microhabitat (e.g., aquatic, terrestrial, arboreal). The first two factors have been tested separately in several studies, but the relative importance of all three is largely unknown. Here we explore the correlates of diversification among families of frogs, which collectively represent ~88% of amphibian species. We assemble and analyze data on phylogeny, climate, and microhabitat for thousands of species. We find that the best-fitting phylogenetic multiple regression model includes all three types of variables: microhabitat, rates of climatic niche change, and climatic niche position. This model explains 67% of the variation in diversification rates among frog families, with arboreal microhabitat explaining ~31%, niche rates ~25%, and climatic niche position ~11%. Surprisingly, we show that microhabitat can have a much stronger influence on diversification than climatic niche position or rates of climatic niche change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-44
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume190
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

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microhabitat
frog
microhabitats
frogs
niche
niches
family
phylogeny
evolutionary biology
rate
amphibian
multiple regression
amphibians
extinction
species richness
ecology
phylogenetics
climate
species diversity
Biological Sciences

Keywords

  • Amphibians
  • Anura
  • Climatic niche
  • Diversification
  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Phylogeny

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Microhabitat and climatic niche change explain patterns of diversification among frog families. / Moen, Daniel S.; Wiens, John J.

In: American Naturalist, Vol. 190, No. 1, 2017, p. 29-44.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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