Predictable Variation of Range-Sizes across an Extreme Environmental Gradient in a Lizard Adaptive Radiation: Evolutionary and Ecological InferencesReport as inadecuate




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Large-scale patterns of current species geographic range-size variation reflect historical dynamics of dispersal and provide insights into future consequences under changing environments. Evidence suggests that climate warming exerts major damage on high latitude and elevation organisms, where changes are more severe and available space to disperse tracking historical niches is more limited. Species with longer generations slower adaptive responses, such as vertebrates, and with restricted distributions lower genetic diversity, higher inbreeding in these environments are expected to be particularly threatened by warming crises. However, a well-known macroecological generalization Rapoport-s rule predicts that species range-sizes increase with increasing latitude-elevation, thus counterbalancing the impact of climate change. Here, I investigate geographic range-size variation across an extreme environmental gradient and as a function of body size, in the prominent Liolaemus lizard adaptive radiation. Conventional and phylogenetic analyses revealed that latitudinal but not elevational ranges significantly decrease with increasing latitude-elevation, while body size was unrelated to range-size. Evolutionarily, these results are insightful as they suggest a link between spatial environmental gradients and range-size evolution. However, ecologically, these results suggest that Liolaemus might be increasingly threatened if, as predicted by theory, ranges retract and contract continuously under persisting climate warming, potentially increasing extinction risks at high latitudes and elevations.



Author: Daniel Pincheira-Donoso

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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