Phylogenetic origins of local-scale diversity patterns and the causes of Amazonian megadiversity

John J Wiens, R. Alexander Pyron, Daniel S. Moen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

What explains the striking variation in local species richness across the globe and the remarkable diversity of rainforest sites in Amazonia? Here, we apply a novel phylogenetic approach to these questions, using treefrogs (Hylidae) as a model system. Hylids show dramatic variation in local richness globally and incredible local diversity in Amazonia. We find that variation in local richness is not explained primarily by climatic factors, rates of diversification (speciation and extinction) nor morphological variation. Instead, local richness patterns are explained predominantly by the timing of colonization of each region, and Amazonian megadiversity is linked to the long-term sympatry of multiple clades in that region. Our results also suggest intriguing interactions between clade diversification, trait evolution and the accumulation of local richness. Specifically, sympatry between clades seems to slow diversification and trait evolution, but prevents neither the accumulation of local richness over time nor the co-occurrence of similar species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-652
Number of pages10
JournalEcology Letters
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

sympatry
Hylidae
Amazonia
phylogenetics
phylogeny
climatic factors
rainforest
rain forests
extinction
colonization
species richness
species diversity
rate
climatic factor

Keywords

  • Amazonia
  • Amphibians
  • Anurans
  • Community ecology
  • Diversification
  • Phylogeny
  • Species richness
  • Tropical rainforest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Phylogenetic origins of local-scale diversity patterns and the causes of Amazonian megadiversity. / Wiens, John J; Pyron, R. Alexander; Moen, Daniel S.

In: Ecology Letters, Vol. 14, No. 7, 2011, p. 643-652.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wiens, John J ; Pyron, R. Alexander ; Moen, Daniel S. / Phylogenetic origins of local-scale diversity patterns and the causes of Amazonian megadiversity. In: Ecology Letters. 2011 ; Vol. 14, No. 7. pp. 643-652.
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