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Avian Biogeography in the Amazon Basin and the Biological Model of Diversification

Sheila Beven, Edward F. Connor and Keith Beven
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 11, No. 5 (Sep., 1984), pp. 383-399
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2844803
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2844803
Page Count: 17
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Avian Biogeography in the Amazon Basin and the Biological Model of Diversification
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Abstract

The `biological model for diversification in the topics' proposes that the cause of high tropical species richness is that species' geographic ranges became highly fragmented, because of climatic changes during the Pleistocene glaciations, leading to substantial pulses of allopatric speciation. However, little palynological evidence of climatic change exists for the species rich Amazon basin. Instead, the evidence adduced to support the hypothesis and to delineate putative Pleistocene forest refugia consists largely of the modern-day biogeographies of birds, lizards, plants and butterflies. Using Monte Carlo procedures we illustrate that the modern-day biogeographies of birds in the Amazon basin are often not inconsistent with the alternative hypothesis that they arose independent of the postulated forest refugia. However, some proposed refugia and centres-of-endemism do contain unusually small numbers of species whose biogeographies are independent of the proposed refuge. Confirmation of the existence of particular Pleistocene forest refugia will require more detailed palynological evidence.

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