phylogeny; radiations; population genetics; biodiversity; mountainous habitats; evolution; ecology; South America; diversification
Karger Dirk Nikolaus, Conrad Olaf, Böhner Jürgen, Kawohl Tobias, Kreft Holger, Soria-Auza Rodrigo Wilber, Zimmermann Niklaus E., Linder H. Peter, Kessler Michael (2017), Climatologies at high resolution for the earth’s land surface areas, in Scientific Data
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Rolland Jonathan, Loiseau Oriane, Romiguier Jonathan, Salamin Nicolas (2017), Molecular evolutionary rates are not correlated with temperature and latitude in Squamata: an exception to the metabolic theory of ecology?, in BMC Evolutionary Biology
, 16, 95.
Rolland Jonathan, Salamin Nicolas (2017), Niche width impacts vertebrate diversification, in Global Ecology and Biogeography
, 25(10), 1252-1263.
Lexer Christian, Marthaler Fabienne, Humbert Sarah, Barbara Thelma, de la Harpe Marylaure, Bossolini Eligio, Paris Margot, Martinelli Gustavo, Versieux Leonardo M (2016), Gene flow and diversification in a species complex of Alcantarea inselberg bromeliads, in Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society
, 181(3), 505-520.
Biological diversity is the result of the evolutionary diversification of phylogenetic lineages, driven by speciation and extinction which in turn are influenced by ecological, biogeographical, and genetic factors. Most of the contemporary biodiversity is the result of radiations, i.e., rapid clade diversification. Although the famous radiation of Galápagos finches contributed to Darwin’s development of the Theory of Evolution, and despite decades of intensive theoretical and empirical research in more recent times, important aspects on radiations remain poorly understood. In particular, the advent of dated phylogenies in the last 20 years suggests that after an initial diversification burst lasting a few to some tens millions of years, radiations achieve a rather constant species number in which speciation and extinction roughly balance each other. The causes determining these limits of radiations are unknown, but may involve extrinsic factors such as the ecological carrying capacity of ecosystems or intrinsic factors such as the ability of clades to expand into new niches (niche conservatism) or population genetic mechanisms affecting species formation, expansion and persistence. In the present project, we propose an innovative research agenda in which we aim to study replicated radiations of four plant groups in seven mountain regions in the continental New World tropics from ecological, macroevolutionary (phylogenetic) and microevolutionary (population genetic) viewpoints. At the core of the project lies an intensive field campaign that will gather a globally unique data set on the spatial distribution of an estimated 300-400 species of four study groups in seven different mountain regions, sampled in a hierarchical manner, yielding the relevant herbarium and laboratory samples for morphological, phylogenetic, and population genetic studies. The integrated nature of the project, with all subprojects referring back to the same field data will allow us to test key hypotheses on possible constraints and limitations of plant radiations in a comprehensive and comparable way, and will thus provide an unprecedented understanding of the mechanisms ultimately responsible for the origin and maintenance of biodiversity.