A minimal model for the latitudinal diversity gradient suggests a dominant role for ecological limits

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A minimal model for the latitudinal diversity gradient suggests a dominant role for ecological limits. / Etienne, Rampal S.; Cabral, Juliano Sarmento; Hagen, Oskar; Hartig, Florian; Hurlbert, Allen H.; Pellissier, Loïc; Pontarp, Mikael; Storch, David.

In: American Naturalist, Vol. 194, No. 5, 2019, p. E122-E133.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Etienne, RS, Cabral, JS, Hagen, O, Hartig, F, Hurlbert, AH, Pellissier, L, Pontarp, M & Storch, D 2019, 'A minimal model for the latitudinal diversity gradient suggests a dominant role for ecological limits', American Naturalist, vol. 194, no. 5, pp. E122-E133. https://doi.org/10.1086/705243

APA

Etienne, R. S., Cabral, J. S., Hagen, O., Hartig, F., Hurlbert, A. H., Pellissier, L., ... Storch, D. (2019). A minimal model for the latitudinal diversity gradient suggests a dominant role for ecological limits. American Naturalist, 194(5), E122-E133. https://doi.org/10.1086/705243

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MLA

Vancouver

Etienne RS, Cabral JS, Hagen O, Hartig F, Hurlbert AH, Pellissier L et al. A minimal model for the latitudinal diversity gradient suggests a dominant role for ecological limits. American Naturalist. 2019;194(5):E122-E133. https://doi.org/10.1086/705243

Author

Etienne, Rampal S. ; Cabral, Juliano Sarmento ; Hagen, Oskar ; Hartig, Florian ; Hurlbert, Allen H. ; Pellissier, Loïc ; Pontarp, Mikael ; Storch, David. / A minimal model for the latitudinal diversity gradient suggests a dominant role for ecological limits. In: American Naturalist. 2019 ; Vol. 194, No. 5. pp. E122-E133.

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - A minimal model for the latitudinal diversity gradient suggests a dominant role for ecological limits

AU - Etienne, Rampal S.

AU - Cabral, Juliano Sarmento

AU - Hagen, Oskar

AU - Hartig, Florian

AU - Hurlbert, Allen H.

AU - Pellissier, Loïc

AU - Pontarp, Mikael

AU - Storch, David

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - The latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG) is one of Earth’s most iconic biodiversity patterns and still one of the most debated. Explanations for the LDG are often categorized into three broad pathways in which the diversity gradient is created by (1) differential diversification rates, (2) differential carrying capacities (ecological limits), or (3) differential time to accumulate species across latitude. Support for these pathways has, however, been mostly verbally expressed. Here, we present a minimal model to clarify the essential assumptions of the three pathways and explore the sensitivity of diversity dynamics to these pathways. We find that an LDG arises most easily from a gradient in ecological limits compared with a gradient in the time for species accumulation or diversification rate in most modeled scenarios. Differential diversification rates create a stronger LDG than ecological limits only when speciation and dispersal rates are low, but then the predicted LDG seems weaker than the observed LDG. Moreover, range dynamics may reduce an LDG created by a gradient in diversification rates or time for species accumulation, but they cannot reduce an LDG induced by differential ecological limits. We conclude that our simple model provides a null prediction for the effectiveness of the three LDG pathways and can thus aid discussions about the causal mechanisms underlying the LDG or motivate more complex models to confirm or falsify our findings.

AB - The latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG) is one of Earth’s most iconic biodiversity patterns and still one of the most debated. Explanations for the LDG are often categorized into three broad pathways in which the diversity gradient is created by (1) differential diversification rates, (2) differential carrying capacities (ecological limits), or (3) differential time to accumulate species across latitude. Support for these pathways has, however, been mostly verbally expressed. Here, we present a minimal model to clarify the essential assumptions of the three pathways and explore the sensitivity of diversity dynamics to these pathways. We find that an LDG arises most easily from a gradient in ecological limits compared with a gradient in the time for species accumulation or diversification rate in most modeled scenarios. Differential diversification rates create a stronger LDG than ecological limits only when speciation and dispersal rates are low, but then the predicted LDG seems weaker than the observed LDG. Moreover, range dynamics may reduce an LDG created by a gradient in diversification rates or time for species accumulation, but they cannot reduce an LDG induced by differential ecological limits. We conclude that our simple model provides a null prediction for the effectiveness of the three LDG pathways and can thus aid discussions about the causal mechanisms underlying the LDG or motivate more complex models to confirm or falsify our findings.

KW - Dispersal

KW - Diversification

KW - Ecological limits

KW - Extinction

KW - Latitudinal diversity gradient

KW - Speciation

U2 - 10.1086/705243

DO - 10.1086/705243

M3 - Article

VL - 194

SP - E122-E133

JO - American Naturalist

JF - American Naturalist

SN - 0003-0147

IS - 5

ER -