Niche conservatism drives elevational diversity patterns in appalachian salamanders

Kenneth H. Kozak, John J Wiens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

169 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many biodiversity hotspots are in montane regions, and many plant and animal groups have their highest species richness at intermediate elevations. Yet, the explanation for this hump-shaped diversity pattern has remained unclear because no studies have addressed both the ecological and evolutionary causes. Here, we address these causes in North American plethodontid salamanders, using a near-comprehensive phylogeny and environmental data. We develop a null model for assessing the relationship between the time that an area has been occupied and its species richness, and we apply a new approach that tests whether clades exhibit long-term stasis in their climatic niches (niche conservatism). Evolutionary, the midelevation peak in species richness is explained by the time-for-speciation effect, with intermediate-elevation habitats seemingly being inhabited longest and accumulating more species. We find that this pattern is associated with evolutionary stasis in species' climatic niches, driving the midelevation peak by constraining the dispersal of lineages to environments at lower and higher elevations. These processes may help explain elevational diversity patterns in many montane regions around the world. The results also suggest that montane biotas may harbor high levels of'both species diversity and phylogenetic diversity but may be particularly susceptible to rapid climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-54
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume176
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Urodela
Appalachian region
Politics
salamanders and newts
niche
niches
species richness
mountain region
species diversity
Biota
Climate Change
Biodiversity
Phylogeny
Ecosystem
biota
phylogeny
harbor
biodiversity
phylogenetics
climate change

Keywords

  • Climate
  • Elevation
  • Niche conservatism
  • Phylogeny
  • Speciation
  • Species richness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Niche conservatism drives elevational diversity patterns in appalachian salamanders. / Kozak, Kenneth H.; Wiens, John J.

In: American Naturalist, Vol. 176, No. 1, 01.07.2010, p. 40-54.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{bd5f0a47137840fa9ef7ef6221e490b8,
title = "Niche conservatism drives elevational diversity patterns in appalachian salamanders",
abstract = "Many biodiversity hotspots are in montane regions, and many plant and animal groups have their highest species richness at intermediate elevations. Yet, the explanation for this hump-shaped diversity pattern has remained unclear because no studies have addressed both the ecological and evolutionary causes. Here, we address these causes in North American plethodontid salamanders, using a near-comprehensive phylogeny and environmental data. We develop a null model for assessing the relationship between the time that an area has been occupied and its species richness, and we apply a new approach that tests whether clades exhibit long-term stasis in their climatic niches (niche conservatism). Evolutionary, the midelevation peak in species richness is explained by the time-for-speciation effect, with intermediate-elevation habitats seemingly being inhabited longest and accumulating more species. We find that this pattern is associated with evolutionary stasis in species' climatic niches, driving the midelevation peak by constraining the dispersal of lineages to environments at lower and higher elevations. These processes may help explain elevational diversity patterns in many montane regions around the world. The results also suggest that montane biotas may harbor high levels of'both species diversity and phylogenetic diversity but may be particularly susceptible to rapid climate change.",
keywords = "Climate, Elevation, Niche conservatism, Phylogeny, Speciation, Species richness",
author = "Kozak, {Kenneth H.} and Wiens, {John J}",
year = "2010",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1086/653031",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "176",
pages = "40--54",
journal = "American Naturalist",
issn = "0003-0147",
publisher = "University of Chicago",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Niche conservatism drives elevational diversity patterns in appalachian salamanders

AU - Kozak, Kenneth H.

AU - Wiens, John J

PY - 2010/7/1

Y1 - 2010/7/1

N2 - Many biodiversity hotspots are in montane regions, and many plant and animal groups have their highest species richness at intermediate elevations. Yet, the explanation for this hump-shaped diversity pattern has remained unclear because no studies have addressed both the ecological and evolutionary causes. Here, we address these causes in North American plethodontid salamanders, using a near-comprehensive phylogeny and environmental data. We develop a null model for assessing the relationship between the time that an area has been occupied and its species richness, and we apply a new approach that tests whether clades exhibit long-term stasis in their climatic niches (niche conservatism). Evolutionary, the midelevation peak in species richness is explained by the time-for-speciation effect, with intermediate-elevation habitats seemingly being inhabited longest and accumulating more species. We find that this pattern is associated with evolutionary stasis in species' climatic niches, driving the midelevation peak by constraining the dispersal of lineages to environments at lower and higher elevations. These processes may help explain elevational diversity patterns in many montane regions around the world. The results also suggest that montane biotas may harbor high levels of'both species diversity and phylogenetic diversity but may be particularly susceptible to rapid climate change.

AB - Many biodiversity hotspots are in montane regions, and many plant and animal groups have their highest species richness at intermediate elevations. Yet, the explanation for this hump-shaped diversity pattern has remained unclear because no studies have addressed both the ecological and evolutionary causes. Here, we address these causes in North American plethodontid salamanders, using a near-comprehensive phylogeny and environmental data. We develop a null model for assessing the relationship between the time that an area has been occupied and its species richness, and we apply a new approach that tests whether clades exhibit long-term stasis in their climatic niches (niche conservatism). Evolutionary, the midelevation peak in species richness is explained by the time-for-speciation effect, with intermediate-elevation habitats seemingly being inhabited longest and accumulating more species. We find that this pattern is associated with evolutionary stasis in species' climatic niches, driving the midelevation peak by constraining the dispersal of lineages to environments at lower and higher elevations. These processes may help explain elevational diversity patterns in many montane regions around the world. The results also suggest that montane biotas may harbor high levels of'both species diversity and phylogenetic diversity but may be particularly susceptible to rapid climate change.

KW - Climate

KW - Elevation

KW - Niche conservatism

KW - Phylogeny

KW - Speciation

KW - Species richness

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77953796487&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77953796487&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/653031

DO - 10.1086/653031

M3 - Article

C2 - 20497055

AN - SCOPUS:77953796487

VL - 176

SP - 40

EP - 54

JO - American Naturalist

JF - American Naturalist

SN - 0003-0147

IS - 1

ER -