†Both the authors contributed equally to this work.
Key innovations within a geographical context in flowering plants: towards resolving Darwin’s abominable mystery
Article first published online: 16 AUG 2010
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS
Volume 13, Issue 10, pages 1270–1279, October 2010
How to Cite
Vamosi, J. C. and Vamosi, S. M. (2010), Key innovations within a geographical context in flowering plants: towards resolving Darwin’s abominable mystery. Ecology Letters, 13: 1270–1279. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01521.x
- Issue published online: 16 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 16 AUG 2010
- Editor, Arne Mooers Manuscript received 2 June 2009 First decision made 16 June 2010 Manuscript accepted 13 July 2010
- ecological limits;
- key innovations;
- latitudinal biodiversity gradient;
- lineage age;
Ecology Letters (2010)
Elucidating factors associated with diversification have been attempted in lineages as diverse as birds, mammals and angiosperms, yet has met with limited success. In flowering plants, the ambiguity of associations between traits and diversification has sparked debate since Darwin’s description of angiosperm diversification as an ‘abominable mystery’. Recent work has found that diversification is often diversity-dependent, suggesting that species richness depends on geographical area available more than on traits or the time available to accumulate species. Here, we undertake phylogenetic generalized least squares analyses that jointly examine the effects of age, ecoregion area and four ecological traits on diversification in 409 angiosperm families. Area explained the most variation, dwarfing the effect of traits and age, suggesting that diversity-dependent diversification is controlled by ecological limits. Within the context of area, however, traits associated with biotic pollination (zygomorphy) exhibited the greatest effect, possibly through the evolution of specialization.