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A Conceptual and Statistical Framework for Adaptive Radiations with a Key Role for Diversity Dependence

Rampal S. Etienne and Bart Haegeman
The American Naturalist
Vol. 180, No. 4 (October 2012), pp. E75-E89
DOI: 10.1086/667574
Stable URL:
Page Count: 15
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AbstractIn this article we propose a new framework for studying adaptive radiations in the context of diversity-dependent diversification. Diversity dependence causes diversification to decelerate at the end of an adaptive radiation but also plays a key role in the initial pulse of diversification. In particular, key innovations (which in our definition include novel traits as well as new environments) may cause decoupling of the diversity-dependent dynamics of the innovative clade from the diversity-dependent dynamics of its ancestral clade. We present a likelihood-based inference method to test for decoupling of diversity dependence using molecular phylogenies. The method, which can handle incomplete phylogenies, identifies when the decoupling took place and which diversification parameters are affected. We illustrate our approach by applying it to the molecular phylogeny of the North American clade of the legume tribe Psoraleeae (47 extant species, of which 4 are missing). Two diversification rate shifts were previously identified for this clade; our analysis shows that the first, positive shift can be associated with decoupling of two Pediomelum subgenera from the other Psoraleeae lineages, while we argue that the second, negative shift can be attributed to speciation being protracted. The latter explanation yields nonzero extinction rates, in contrast to previous findings. Our framework offers a new perspective on macroevolution: new environments and novel traits (ecological opportunity) and diversity dependence (ecological limits) cannot be considered separately.

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This item contains 70 references.

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