Gradients in biodiversity and speciation

Principal Investigators:

Gary G. Mittelbach, Howard V. Cornell, and Douglas W. Schemske

The diversity of life varies predictably with climate and is greatest where it is warm and wet (the humid tropics). But, the question "why" has puzzled biologists for over a century. Recent attention has focused on evolutionary mechanisms, in particular whether speciation rates may vary predictably with climate/latitude, whether such variation in speciation rates can account for higher species richness in tropical environments, and what mechanisms might cause geographical variation in speciation rates. We propose to bring together an interdisciplinary... more

Participants and Meetings

Working Group Participants
ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group21st—25th September 2005Participant List  
Working Group18th—21st April 2006Participant List  
Working Group4th—7th April 2007Participant List  
Working Group23rd—24th May 2008Participant List  

Participant Contact Information

Andrew P. of California, Santa Barbara
Timothy G. College, London, Silwood Park Campus
Mark Bushmbush@fit.eduFlorida Institute of Technology
Howard V. Cornellhvcornell@ucdavis.eduUniversity of California, Davis
Susan P. Harrisonspharrison@ucdavis.eduUniversity of California, Davis
Allen H. Hurlberthurlbert@bio.unc.eduUniversity of New Mexico
David Jablonskidjablons@midway.uchicago.eduUniversity of Chicago
Nancy Knowltonnknowlton@ucsd.eduUniversity of California, San Diego
Harilaos A. Lessioslessiosh@si.eduSmithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Christy M. McCainchristy.mccain@colorado.eduUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
Amy R. McCunearm2@cornell.eduCornell University
Lucinda A. McDademcdade@acnatsci.orgAcademy of Natural Sciences
Mark A. McPeekmark.mcpeek@dartmouth.eduDartmouth College
Gary G. Mittelbachmittelbach@kbs.msu.eduMichigan State University
Thomas J. Neartnear@utk.eduUniversity of Tennessee
Sean of Edinburgh
H. Allen Orraorr@mail.rochester.eduUniversity of Rochester
Trevor Pricepricet@uchicago.eduUniversity of Chicago
Robert E. Ricklefsricklefs@umsl.eduUniversity of Missouri, St. Louis
Kaustuv Roykroy@ucsd.eduUniversity of California, San Diego
Dov F. SaxDov_Sax@brown.eduUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
Douglas W. Schemskeschem@msu.eduMichigan State University
Dolph Schluterschluter@zoology.ubc.caUniversity of British Columbia
James M. Sobelsobelj@msu.eduMichigan State University
Michael Turellimturelli@ucdavis.eduUniversity of California, Davis
Jonathan Brownbrownj@grinnell.eduGrinnell College
T. Jonathan Daviesj.davies@mcgill.caUniversity of Georgia
Patrick R. Stephensprsteph@uga.eduUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Products: Publications, Reports, Datasets, Presentations, Visualizations

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Jablonski, David; Roy, Kaustuv; Valentine, James W. 2006. Out of the tropics: Evolutionary dynamics of the latitudinal diversity gradient. Science. Vol: 314. Pages 102-106.
Journal Article McPeek, Mark A.; Brown, Jonathan. 2007. Clade age and not diversification rate explains species richness among animal taxa. American Naturalist. Vol: 169(4). Pages 0003-0147/2007/16904-42093.
Journal Article McPeek, Mark A. 2007. The macroevolutionary consequences of ecological differences among species. Palaeontology. Vol: 50(1). Pages 111-129.
Data Set McPeek, Mark A. 2008. Diversification rates obtained from a survey of species-level molecular phylogenies. (Online version)
Journal Article McPeek, Mark A. 2008. The ecological dynamics of clade diversification and community assembly. American Naturalist. Vol: 172(6). Pages e270-e284.
Journal Article Mittelbach, Gary G.; Schemske, Douglas W.; Cornell, Howard V.; Allen, Andrew P.; Brown, Jonathan; Bush, Mark; Harrison, Susan P.; Hurlbert, Allen H.; Knowlton, Nancy; Lessios, Harilaos A.; McCain, Christy M.; McCune, Amy R.; McDade, Lucinda A.; McPeek, Mark A.; Near, Thomas J.; Price, Trevor; Ricklefs, Robert E.; Roy, Kaustuv; Sax, Dov F.; Schluter, Dolph; Sobel, James M.; Turelli, Michael. 2007. Evolution and the latitudinal diversity gradient: Speciation, extinction and biogeography. Ecology Letters. Vol: 10. Pages 315-331.
Journal Article Ricklefs, Robert E. 2006. Global variation in the diversification rate of passerine birds. Ecology. Vol: 87(10). Pages 2468-2478.
Journal Article Roy, Kaustuv; Goldberg, Emma E. 2007. Origination, extinction, and dispersal: Integrative models for understanding present-day diversity gradients. American Naturalist. Vol: 170. Pages S71-S85.
Presentations Schemske, Douglas W. 2007. Evolution in the tropics: Dobzhansky revisited. European Society for the Study of Evolution, Uppsala, Sweden. Plenary lecture.
Presentations Schemske, Douglas W. 2007. Evolution in the tropics: Dobzhansky revisited. British Ecological Society Symposium: Ecology and Speciation, University of Sheffield, UK. Invited speaker.
Presentations Schemske, Douglas W. 2008. Evolution in the tropics: Dobzhansky revisited. Colorado State University, Distinguished Ecologist Series.
Book Chapter Schemske, Douglas W. 2009. Biotic interactions and speciation in the tropics. Edited by Butlin, Roger; Bridle, Jon; Schluter, Dolph Speciation and Patterns of Diversity (Ecological Reviews). Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, UK. Pages 219-239.
Journal Article Schemske, Douglas W.; Mittelbach, Gary G.; Cornell, Howard V.; Sobel, James M.; Roy, Kaustuv. 2009. Is there a latitudinal gradient in the importance of biotic interactions?. Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics. Vol: 40. Pages 245-269.
"Gradients in biodiversity and speciation" is project ID: 9963