What Explains Patterns of Diversification and Richness among Animal Phyla?
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherUNIV CHICAGO PRESS
CitationWhat Explains Patterns of Diversification and Richness among Animal Phyla? 2017, 189 (3):201 The American Naturalist
JournalThe American Naturalist
Rights© 2017 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractAnimal phyla vary dramatically in species richness (from one species to >1.2 million), but the causes of this variation remain largely unknown. Animals have also evolved striking variation in morphology and ecology, including sessile marine taxa lacking heads, eyes, limbs, and complex organs (e.g., sponges), parasitic worms (e.g., nematodes, platyhelminths), and taxa with eyes, skeletons, limbs, and complex organs that dominate terrestrial ecosystems (arthropods, chordates). Relating this remarkable variation in traits to the diversification and richness of animal phyla is a fundamental yet unresolved problem in biology. Here, we test the impacts of 18 traits (including morphology, ecology, reproduction, and development) on diversification and richness of extant animal phyla. Using phylogenetic multiple regression, the best-fitting model includes five traits that explain approximate to 74% of the variation in diversification rates (dioecy, parasitism, eyes/photoreceptors, a skeleton, nonmarine habitat). However, a model including just three (skeleton, parasitism, habitat) explains nearly as much variation (approximate to 67%). Diversification rates then largely explain richness patterns. Our results also identify many striking traits that have surprisingly little impact on diversification (e.g., head, limbs, and complex circulatory and digestive systems). Overall, our results reveal the key factors that shape large-scale patterns of diversification and richness across >80% of all extant, described species.
Note12 month embargo; ONLINE: Jan 03, 2017
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsPostdoctoral Excellence in Research and Teaching fellowship [5K12GM000708-13]