Toward a theory for diversity gradients: The abundance-adaptation hypothesis

Michael D. Weiser, Sean T. Michaletz, Vanessa Buzzard, Ye Deng, Zhili He, Lina Shen, Brian Enquist, Robert B. Waide, Jizhong Zhou, Michael Kaspari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The abundance-adaptation hypothesis argues that taxa with more individuals and faster generation times will have more evolutionary 'experiments' allowing expansion into, and diversification within, novel habitats. Thus, as older taxa have produced more individuals over time, and smaller taxa have higher population sizes and faster generation times, the Latitudinal Diversity Gradients (LDGs) of these clades should show shallower slopes. We describe the LDGs for archaea, bacteria, fungi, invertebrates and trees from six North American forests. For three focal groups - bacteria, ants, and trees - older taxa had shallower LDG slopes than the more recent, terminal taxa. Across 12 orders of magnitude of body mass, LDG slopes were steeper in larger taxa. The slopes of LDGs vary systematically with body size and clade age, underscoring the non-canonical nature of LDGs. The steepest LDG slopes were found for the largest organisms while the smallest, from bacteria to small litter-soil invertebrates, have shallower- to zero-slope LDGs. If tropical niche conservatism is the failure of clades to adapt to, and diversify in temperate habitats, then the steep LDGs of chordates and plants likely arise from the decreased ability of clades with large individuals to adapt to the multiple challenges of extra-tropical life. Ecography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEcography
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2017

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bacteria
soil invertebrates
Chordata
generation time
Archaea
habitats
bacterium
Formicidae
niches
population size
body size
invertebrate
invertebrates
fungi
organisms
habitat
body mass
ant
niche
litter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Weiser, M. D., Michaletz, S. T., Buzzard, V., Deng, Y., He, Z., Shen, L., ... Kaspari, M. (Accepted/In press). Toward a theory for diversity gradients: The abundance-adaptation hypothesis. Ecography. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.02314

Toward a theory for diversity gradients : The abundance-adaptation hypothesis. / Weiser, Michael D.; Michaletz, Sean T.; Buzzard, Vanessa; Deng, Ye; He, Zhili; Shen, Lina; Enquist, Brian; Waide, Robert B.; Zhou, Jizhong; Kaspari, Michael.

In: Ecography, 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Weiser, MD, Michaletz, ST, Buzzard, V, Deng, Y, He, Z, Shen, L, Enquist, B, Waide, RB, Zhou, J & Kaspari, M 2017, 'Toward a theory for diversity gradients: The abundance-adaptation hypothesis', Ecography. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.02314
Weiser, Michael D. ; Michaletz, Sean T. ; Buzzard, Vanessa ; Deng, Ye ; He, Zhili ; Shen, Lina ; Enquist, Brian ; Waide, Robert B. ; Zhou, Jizhong ; Kaspari, Michael. / Toward a theory for diversity gradients : The abundance-adaptation hypothesis. In: Ecography. 2017.
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