Broad-scale Variation (broad-scale + variation)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Predictions and tests of climate-based hypotheses of broad-scale variation in taxonomic richness

ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 12 2004
David J. Currie
Abstract Broad-scale variation in taxonomic richness is strongly correlated with climate. Many mechanisms have been hypothesized to explain these patterns; however, testable predictions that would distinguish among them have rarely been derived. Here, we examine several prominent hypotheses for climate,richness relationships, deriving and testing predictions based on their hypothesized mechanisms. The ,energy,richness hypothesis' (also called the ,more individuals hypothesis') postulates that more productive areas have more individuals and therefore more species. More productive areas do often have more species, but extant data are not consistent with the expected causal relationship from energy to numbers of individuals to numbers of species. We reject the energy,richness hypothesis in its standard form and consider some proposed modifications. The ,physiological tolerance hypothesis' postulates that richness varies according to the tolerances of individual species for different sets of climatic conditions. This hypothesis predicts that more combinations of physiological parameters can survive under warm and wet than cold or dry conditions. Data are qualitatively consistent with this prediction, but are inconsistent with the prediction that species should fill climatically suitable areas. Finally, the ,speciation rate hypothesis' postulates that speciation rates should vary with climate, due either to faster evolutionary rates or stronger biotic interactions increasing the opportunity for evolutionary diversification in some regions. The biotic interactions mechanism also has the potential to amplify shallower, underlying gradients in richness. Tests of speciation rate hypotheses are few (to date), and their results are mixed. [source]


Dependence of broad-scale geographical variation in fleshy-fruited plant species richness on disperser bird species richness

GLOBAL ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2004
Ana L. Márquez
ABSTRACT Aim, We analysed the interdependence of avian frugivore- and fruited plant-species richness at the scale of major river basins across Europe, taking into account several environmental factors along different spatial gradients. Location, Continental Europe and the British Isles. Methods, We focused on wintering birds and autumn/winter fruiting plants, and used major river basins as geographical units and Structural Equation Modelling as the principal analytical tool. Results, The statistical influence of disperser species richness on fleshy-fruited plant species richness is roughly double that of the reverse. Broad-scale variation in frugivore richness is more dependent on environmental factors than on fruited plant richness. However, the influence of disperser richness on plant richness is four times higher than the influence of environmental factors. Environmental influences on both birds and plants are greater than purely spatial influences. Main conclusions, Our results are interpreted as indicating that biotic dispersal of fruits strongly affects broad-scale geographical trends of fleshy-fruited plant species richness, whereas richness of fruited plants moderately affects frugivore richness. [source]


Predictions and tests of climate-based hypotheses of broad-scale variation in taxonomic richness

ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 12 2004
David J. Currie
Abstract Broad-scale variation in taxonomic richness is strongly correlated with climate. Many mechanisms have been hypothesized to explain these patterns; however, testable predictions that would distinguish among them have rarely been derived. Here, we examine several prominent hypotheses for climate,richness relationships, deriving and testing predictions based on their hypothesized mechanisms. The ,energy,richness hypothesis' (also called the ,more individuals hypothesis') postulates that more productive areas have more individuals and therefore more species. More productive areas do often have more species, but extant data are not consistent with the expected causal relationship from energy to numbers of individuals to numbers of species. We reject the energy,richness hypothesis in its standard form and consider some proposed modifications. The ,physiological tolerance hypothesis' postulates that richness varies according to the tolerances of individual species for different sets of climatic conditions. This hypothesis predicts that more combinations of physiological parameters can survive under warm and wet than cold or dry conditions. Data are qualitatively consistent with this prediction, but are inconsistent with the prediction that species should fill climatically suitable areas. Finally, the ,speciation rate hypothesis' postulates that speciation rates should vary with climate, due either to faster evolutionary rates or stronger biotic interactions increasing the opportunity for evolutionary diversification in some regions. The biotic interactions mechanism also has the potential to amplify shallower, underlying gradients in richness. Tests of speciation rate hypotheses are few (to date), and their results are mixed. [source]


CONTRASTING PLANT PHYSIOLOGICAL ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE IN THE NATIVE AND INTRODUCED RANGE OF HYPERICUM PERFORATUM

EVOLUTION, Issue 8 2007
John L. Maron
How introduced plants, which may be locally adapted to specific climatic conditions in their native range, cope with the new abiotic conditions that they encounter as exotics is not well understood. In particular, it is unclear what role plasticity versus adaptive evolution plays in enabling exotics to persist under new environmental circumstances in the introduced range. We determined the extent to which native and introduced populations of St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) are genetically differentiated with respect to leaf-level morphological and physiological traits that allow plants to tolerate different climatic conditions. In common gardens in Washington and Spain, and in a greenhouse, we examined clinal variation in percent leaf nitrogen and carbon, leaf ,13C values (as an integrative measure of water use efficiency), specific leaf area (SLA), root and shoot biomass, root/shoot ratio, total leaf area, and leaf area ratio (LAR). As well, we determined whether native European H. perforatum experienced directional selection on leaf-level traits in the introduced range and we compared, across gardens, levels of plasticity in these traits. In field gardens in both Washington and Spain, native populations formed latitudinal clines in percent leaf N. In the greenhouse, native populations formed latitudinal clines in root and shoot biomass and total leaf area, and in the Washington garden only, native populations also exhibited latitudinal clines in percent leaf C and leaf ,13C. Traits that failed to show consistent latitudinal clines instead exhibited significant phenotypic plasticity. Introduced St. John's Wort populations also formed significant or marginally significant latitudinal clines in percent leaf N in Washington and Spain, percent leaf C in Washington, and in root biomass and total leaf area in the greenhouse. In the Washington common garden, there was strong directional selection among European populations for higher percent leaf N and leaf ,13C, but no selection on any other measured trait. The presence of convergent, genetically based latitudinal clines between native and introduced H. perforatum, together with previously published molecular data, suggest that native and exotic genotypes have independently adapted to a broad-scale variation in climate that varies with latitude. [source]