The Latitudinal Diversity Gradient: Novel Understanding through Mechanistic Eco-evolutionary

Mikael Pontarp, Lynsey Bunnefeld, Juliano Sarmento Cabral, Rampal S Etienne, Susanne A Fritz, Rosemary Gillespie, Catherine H Graham, Oskar Hagen, Florian Hartig, Shan Huang, Roland Jansson, Odile Maliet, Tamara Münkemüller, Loïc Pellissier, Thiago F Rangel, David Storch, Thorsten Wiegand, Allen H Hurlbert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
479 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG) is one of the most widely studied patterns in ecology, yet no consensus has been reached about its underlying causes. We argue that the reasons for this are the verbal nature of existing hypotheses, the failure to mechanistically link interacting ecological and evolutionary processes to the LDG, and the fact that empirical patterns are often consistent with multiple explanations. To address this issue, we synthesize current LDG hypotheses, uncovering their eco-evolutionary mechanisms, hidden assumptions, and commonalities. Furthermore, we propose mechanistic eco-evolutionary modeling and an inferential approach that makes use of geographic, phylogenetic, and trait-based patterns to assess the relative importance of different processes for generating the LDG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-223
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Ecology & Evolution
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2019

Keywords

  • SPECIES RICHNESS
  • STATISTICAL-INFERENCE
  • DIVERSIFICATION RATES
  • NICHE CONSERVATISM
  • MOUNTAIN PASSES
  • GLOBAL PATTERNS
  • BIODIVERSITY
  • SPECIATION
  • ECOLOGY
  • BIOGEOGRAPHY

Cite this