Friday, April 11, 2014

More on speciation and extinction rates and latitudinal diversity gradients in amphibians

Common frog (Rana temporaria). Photo by Erik Svensson

Posted by Erik Svensson

It is spring time, and some of you have already noted the frogs that mate in the pond outside the Ecology Building. Then it seems highly timely to discuss some classical problems in ecology and evolutionary biology that have been subject to some previous lab-meetings, but which continue to fascinate many (including me): why are there more species in the tropics?

Is it because of evolutionary history, such as higher speciation rates in the tropics or lower extinction rates over millions of years? Or is it mainly due to ecological factors such as more energy through the sun and higher humidity in the tropics? Or a combination of ecological and evolutionary factors? What about the roles of niche conservatism and diversity dependence, and how do these affect tropical and temperate diversity?

We will discuss a recent paper  about this by Alexander Pyron and John Wiens about latitudinal diversity gradients in amphibians in relation to speciation, extinction and phylogeny. You can find the paper here, and it is a phylogenetic comparative study, and the abstract is appended below.

When: Tuesday, April  15, at 10.30
Where: "Argumentet", 2nd floor, Ecology Building.

Large-scale phylogenetic analyses reveal the causes of high tropical amphibian diversity


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