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The influence of ecological and geographic limits on the evolution of species distributions and diversity

Herrera-Alsina, L; Pigot, AL; Hildenbrandt, H; Etienne, RS; (2018) The influence of ecological and geographic limits on the evolution of species distributions and diversity. Evolution , 72 (10) pp. 1978-1991. 10.1111/evo.13563. Green open access

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Abstract

The role of ecological limits in regulating the distribution and diversification of species remains controversial. Although such limits must ultimately arise from constraints on local species coexistence, this spatial context is missing from most macroevolutionary models. Here, we develop a stochastic, spatially explicit model of species diversification to explore the phylogenetic and biogeographic patterns expected when local diversity is bounded. We show how local ecological limits, by regulating opportunities for range expansion and thus rates of speciation and extinction, lead to temporal slowdowns in diversification and predictable differences in equilibrium diversity between regions. However, our models also show that even when regions have identical diversity limits, the dynamics of diversification and total number of species supported at equilibrium can vary dramatically depending on the relative size of geographic and local ecological niche space. Our model predicts that small regions with higher local ecological limits support a higher standing diversity and more balanced phylogenetic trees than large geographic areas with more stringent constraints on local coexistence. Our findings highlight how considering the spatial context of diversification can provide new insights into the role of ecological limits in driving variation in biodiversity across space, time, and clades.

Type: Article
Title: The influence of ecological and geographic limits on the evolution of species distributions and diversity
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/evo.13563
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.13563
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Diversity-dependence, geographic area, geographic range size, local carrying capacity, species diversification, species saturation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10057789
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