ARE RANGE-SIZE DISTRIBUTIONS CONSISTENT WITH SPECIES-LEVEL HERITABILITY?
Article first published online: 19 FEB 2012
© 2012 The Author(s).
Volume 66, Issue 7, pages 2216–2226, July 2012
How to Cite
Borregaard, M. K., Gotelli, N. J. and Rahbek, C. (2012), ARE RANGE-SIZE DISTRIBUTIONS CONSISTENT WITH SPECIES-LEVEL HERITABILITY?. Evolution, 66: 2216–2226. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01581.x
- Issue published online: 3 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 19 FEB 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 1 FEB 2012 03:05PM EST
- Received May 30, 2011, Accepted December 19, 2011
- range evolution;
- Range-size distribution;
- range-size heritability;
- simulation model;
- species-level selection
The concept of species-level heritability is widely contested. Because it is most likely to apply to emergent, species-level traits, one of the central discussions has focused on the potential heritability of geographic range size. However, a central argument against range-size heritability has been that it is not compatible with the observed shape of present-day species range-size distributions (SRDs), a claim that has never been tested. To assess this claim, we used forward simulation of range-size evolution in clades with varying degrees of range-size heritability, and compared the output of three different models to the range-size distribution of the South American avifauna. Although there were differences among the models, a moderate-to-high degree of range-size heritability consistently leads to SRDs that were similar to empirical data. These results suggest that range-size heritability can generate realistic SRDs, and may play an important role in shaping observed patterns of range sizes.