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Ice age climate, evolutionary constraints and diversity patterns of European dung beetles

Authors

  • Joaquín Hortal,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Population Biology, Imperial College at Silwood Park, Ascot SL5 7PY, UK
    2. Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC), C/José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain
    3. Departamento de Ecologia, ICB, Universidade Federal de Goiás, UFG Campus II, 74001-970 Goiânia, GO, Brazil
      E-mail:jhortal@mncn.csic.es
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  • José Alexandre F. Diniz-Filho,

    1. Departamento de Ecologia, ICB, Universidade Federal de Goiás, UFG Campus II, 74001-970 Goiânia, GO, Brazil
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  • Luis Mauricio Bini,

    1. Departamento de Ecologia, ICB, Universidade Federal de Goiás, UFG Campus II, 74001-970 Goiânia, GO, Brazil
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  • Miguel Ángel Rodríguez,

    1. Departamento de Ecología, Universidad de Alcalá, 28771 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
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  • Andrés Baselga,

    1. Departamento de Zoología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, c/Lope Gómez de Marzoa s/n, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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  • David Nogués-Bravo,

    1. Department of Biology, Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • Thiago Fernando Rangel,

    1. Departamento de Ecologia, ICB, Universidade Federal de Goiás, UFG Campus II, 74001-970 Goiânia, GO, Brazil
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  • Bradford A. Hawkins,

    1. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
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  • Jorge M. Lobo

    1. Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC), C/José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain
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E-mail:jhortal@mncn.csic.es

Abstract

Ecology Letters (2011) 14: 741–748

Abstract

Current climate and Pleistocene climatic changes are both known to be associated with geographical patterns of diversity. We assess their associations with the European Scarabaeinae dung beetles, a group with high dispersal ability and well-known adaptations to warm environments. By assessing spatial stationarity in climate variability since the last glacial maximum (LGM), we find that current scarab richness is related to the location of their limits of thermal tolerance during the LGM. These limits mark a strong change in their current species richness–environment relationships. Furthermore, northern scarab assemblages are nested and composed of a phylogenetically clustered subset of large-range sized generalist species, whereas southern ones are diverse and variable in composition. Our results show that species responses to current climate are limited by the evolution of assemblages that occupied relatively climatically stable areas during the Pleistocene, and by post-glacial dispersal in those that were strongly affected by glaciations.

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