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      Out of the tropics, but how? Fossils, bridge species, and thermal ranges in the dynamics of the marine latitudinal diversity gradient

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          Abstract

          Latitudinal diversity gradients are underlain by complex combinations of origination, extinction, and shifts in geographic distribution and therefore are best analyzed by integrating paleontological and neontological data. The fossil record of marine bivalves shows, in three successive late Cenozoic time slices, that most clades (operationally here, genera) tend to originate in the tropics and then expand out of the tropics (OTT) to higher latitudes while retaining their tropical presence. This OTT pattern is robust both to assumptions on the preservation potential of taxa and to taxonomic revisions of extant and fossil species. Range expansion of clades may occur via "bridge species," which violate climate-niche conservatism to bridge the tropical-temperate boundary in most OTT genera. Substantial time lags (∼5 Myr) between the origins of tropical clades and their entry into the temperate zone suggest that OTT events are rare on a per-clade basis. Clades with higher diversification rates within the tropics are the most likely to expand OTT and the most likely to produce multiple bridge species, suggesting that high speciation rates promote the OTT dynamic. Although expansion of thermal tolerances is key to the OTT dynamic, most latitudinally widespread species instead achieve their broad ranges by tracking widespread, spatially-uniform temperatures within the tropics (yielding, via the nonlinear relation between temperature and latitude, a pattern opposite to Rapoport's rule). This decoupling of range size and temperature tolerance may also explain the differing roles of species and clade ranges in buffering species from background and mass extinctions.

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          Most cited references79

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          Evolution and the latitudinal diversity gradient: speciation, extinction and biogeography.

          A latitudinal gradient in biodiversity has existed since before the time of the dinosaurs, yet how and why this gradient arose remains unresolved. Here we review two major hypotheses for the origin of the latitudinal diversity gradient. The time and area hypothesis holds that tropical climates are older and historically larger, allowing more opportunity for diversification. This hypothesis is supported by observations that temperate taxa are often younger than, and nested within, tropical taxa, and that diversity is positively correlated with the age and area of geographical regions. The diversification rate hypothesis holds that tropical regions diversify faster due to higher rates of speciation (caused by increased opportunities for the evolution of reproductive isolation, or faster molecular evolution, or the increased importance of biotic interactions), or due to lower extinction rates. There is phylogenetic evidence for higher rates of diversification in tropical clades, and palaeontological data demonstrate higher rates of origination for tropical taxa, but mixed evidence for latitudinal differences in extinction rates. Studies of latitudinal variation in incipient speciation also suggest faster speciation in the tropics. Distinguishing the roles of history, speciation and extinction in the origin of the latitudinal gradient represents a major challenge to future research.
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            The latitudinal gradient in recent speciation and extinction rates of birds and mammals.

            Although the tropics harbor greater numbers of species than do temperate zones, it is not known whether the rates of speciation and extinction also follow a latitudinal gradient. By sampling birds and mammals, we found that the distribution of the evolutionary ages of sister species-pairs of species in which each is the other's closest relative-adheres to a latitudinal gradient. The time to divergence for sister species is shorter at high latitudes and longer in the tropics. Birth-death models fitting these data estimate that the highest recent speciation and extinction rates occur at high latitudes and decline toward the tropics. These results conflict with the prevailing view that links high tropical diversity to elevated tropical speciation rates. Instead, our findings suggest that faster turnover at high latitudes contributes to the latitudinal diversity gradient.
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              Hopping hotspots: global shifts in marine biodiversity.

              Hotspots of high species diversity are a prominent feature of modern global biodiversity patterns. Fossil and molecular evidence is starting to reveal the history of these hotspots. There have been at least three marine biodiversity hotspots during the past 50 million years. They have moved across almost half the globe, with their timing and locations coinciding with major tectonic events. The birth and death of successive hotspots highlights the link between environmental change and biodiversity patterns. The antiquity of the taxa in the modern Indo-Australian Archipelago hotspot emphasizes the role of pre-Pleistocene events in shaping modern diversity patterns.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                June 25 2013
                June 25 2013
                June 12 2013
                June 25 2013
                : 110
                : 26
                : 10487-10494
                Article
                10.1073/pnas.1308997110
                3696828
                23759748
                94f68d64-6908-472e-869e-3aacffdb2789
                © 2013
                Product
                Self URI (article page): http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1308997110

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