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      Geographic variation in genetic and demographic performance: new insights from an old biogeographical paradigm : The centre-periphery hypothesis

      , , , , ,
      Biological Reviews
      Wiley-Blackwell

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          Abstract

          The 'centre-periphery hypothesis' (CPH) is a long-standing postulate in ecology that states that genetic variation and demographic performance of a species decrease from the centre to the edge of its geographic range. This hypothesis is based on an assumed concordance between geographical peripherality and ecological marginality such that environmental conditions become harsher towards the limits of a species range. In this way, the CPH sets the stage for understanding the causes of distribution limits. To date, no study has examined conjointly the consistency of these postulates. In an extensive literature review we discuss the birth and development of the CPH and provide an assessment of the CPH by reviewing 248 empirical studies in the context of three main themes. First, a decrease in species occurrence towards their range limits was observed in 81% of studies, while only 51% demonstrated reduced abundance of individuals. A decline in genetic variation, increased differentiation among populations and higher rates of inbreeding were demonstrated by roughly one in two studies (47, 45 and 48%, respectively). However, demographic rates, size and population performance less often followed CPH expectations (20-30% of studies). We highlight the impact of important methodological, taxonomic, and biogeographical biases on such validation rates. Second, we found that geographic and ecological marginality gradients are not systematically concordant, which casts doubt on the reliability of a main assumption of the CPH. Finally, we attempt to disentangle the relative contribution of geographical, ecological and historical processes on the spatial distribution of genetic and demographic parameters. While ecological marginality gradients explain variation in species' demographic performance better than geographic gradients, contemporary and historical factors may contribute interactively to spatial patterns of genetic variation. We thereby propose a framework that integrates species' ecological niche characteristics together with current and past range structure to investigate spatial patterns of genetic and demographic variation across species ranges.

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          On the Relationship between Abundance and Distribution of Species

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            Conserving biodiversity under climate change: the rear edge matters.

            Modern climate change is producing poleward range shifts of numerous taxa, communities and ecosystems worldwide. The response of species to changing environments is likely to be determined largely by population responses at range margins. In contrast to the expanding edge, the low-latitude limit (rear edge) of species ranges remains understudied, and the critical importance of rear edge populations as long-term stores of species' genetic diversity and foci of speciation has been little acknowledged. We review recent findings from the fossil record, phylogeography and ecology to illustrate that rear edge populations are often disproportionately important for the survival and evolution of biota. Their ecological features, dynamics and conservation requirements differ from those of populations in other parts of the range, and some commonly recommended conservation practices might therefore be of little use or even counterproductive for rear edge populations.
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              Poleward shifts in geographical ranges of butterfly species associated with regional warming

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Biological Reviews
                Biol Rev
                Wiley-Blackwell
                14647931
                November 2017
                November 2017
                : 92
                : 4
                : 1877-1909
                Article
                10.1111/brv.12313
                27891813
                6e564918-7a96-4dfd-a084-8f8ba9fa1469
                © 2017

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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