Temperature dependence of evolutionary diversification: differences between two contrasting model taxa support the metabolic theory of ecology

Authors

  • A. Machac,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Statistics and Probability, Faculty of Informatics and Statistics, University of Economics, Praha, Czech Republic
    2. Department of Ecology and Evolution, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY, USA
    3. Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Praha, Czech Republic
    • Center for Theoretical Study, Charles University and Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Praha, Czech Republic
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  • J. Zrzavý,

    1. Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
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  • J. Smrckova,

    1. Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
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  • D. Storch

    1. Center for Theoretical Study, Charles University and Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Praha, Czech Republic
    2. Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Praha, Czech Republic
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Correspondence: Antonin Machac, Center for Theoretical Study, Charles University and Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Jilska 1, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic.

Tel.: +420 222 220 671; fax: +420 222 220 653;

e-mail: A.Machac@email.cz

Abstract

Biodiversity patterns are largely determined by variation of diversification rates across clades and geographic regions. Although there are multiple reasons for this variation, it has been hypothesized that metabolic rate is the crucial driver of diversification of evolutionary lineages. According to the metabolic theory of ecology (MTE), metabolic rate – and consequently speciation – is driven mainly by body size and environmental temperature. As environmental temperature affects metabolic rate in ecto- and endotherms differently, its impact on diversification rate should also differ between the two types of organisms. Employing two independent approaches, we analysed correlates of speciation rates and, ultimately, net diversification rates for two contrasting taxa: plethodontid salamanders and carnivoran mammals. Whereas in the ectothermic plethodontids speciation rates positively correlated with environmental temperature, in the endothermic carnivorans a reverse, negative correlation was detected. These findings comply with predictions of the MTE and suggest that similar geographic patterns of biodiversity across taxa (e.g. ecto- and endotherms) might have been generated by different ecological and evolutionary processes.

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