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Evolutionary and ecological causes of the latitudinal diversity gradient in hylid frogs: treefrog trees unearth the roots of high tropical diversity

Wiens, JJ, Graham, CH, Moen, DS, Smith, SA and Reeder, TW (2006). Evolutionary and ecological causes of the latitudinal diversity gradient in hylid frogs: treefrog trees unearth the roots of high tropical diversity. The American Naturalist,168(5):579-596.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Evolutionary and ecological causes of the latitudinal diversity gradient in hylid frogs: treefrog trees unearth the roots of high tropical diversity
Author Wiens, JJ
Graham, CH
Moen, DS
Smith, SA
Reeder, TW
Journal Name The American Naturalist
Publication Date 2006
Volume Number 168
Issue Number 5
ISSN 0003-0147   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 579
End Page 596
Total Pages 18
Place of Publication Chicago, United States
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Field of Research BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Why are there more species in the tropics than in temperate regions? In recent years, this long-standing question has been addressed primarily by seeking environmental correlates of diversity. But to understand the ultimate causes of diversity patterns, we must also examine the evolutionary and biogeographic processes that directly change species numbers (i.e., speciation, extinction, and dispersal). With this perspective, we dissect the latitudinal diversity gradient in hylid frogs. We reconstruct a phylogeny for 124 hylid species, estimate divergence times and diversification rates for major clades, reconstruct biogeographic changes, and use ecological niche modeling to identify climatic variables that potentially limit dispersal. We find that hylids originated in tropical South America and spread to temperate regions only recently (leaving limited time for speciation). There is a strong relationship between the species richness of each region and when that region was colonized but not between the latitudinal positions of clades and their rates of diversification. Temperature seasonality seemingly limits dispersal of many tropical clades into temperate regions and shows significant phylogenetic conservatism. Overall, our study illustrates how two general principles (niche conservatism and the time-for-speciation effect) may help explain the latitudinal diversity gradient as well as many other diversity patterns across taxa and regions.
 
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Created: Tue, 02 Feb 2010, 13:17:44 CST by Sarena Wegener