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Global Ecology and Biogeography

Geographic range and body size in Neotropical marsupials

Authors

  • N. Olifiers,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratório de Biologia e Controle da Esquistossomose, Departamento de Medicina Tropical, IOC/FIOCRUZ, Avenue Brazil, 4365, CP 926, Rio de Janeiro RJ, 21045–900, Brazil,
      Correspondence: Natalie Olifiers, Laboratório de Vertebrados, Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, CP 68020, Rio de Janeiro RJ, 21941–590, Brazil. E-mail: natolifiers@yahoo.com.br
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  • M. V. Vieira,

    1. Laboratório de Vertebrados, Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, CP 68020, Rio de Janeiro RJ, 21941–590, Brazil
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  • C. E. V. Grelle

    1. Laboratório de Vertebrados, Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, CP 68020, Rio de Janeiro RJ, 21941–590, Brazil
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Correspondence: Natalie Olifiers, Laboratório de Vertebrados, Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, CP 68020, Rio de Janeiro RJ, 21941–590, Brazil. E-mail: natolifiers@yahoo.com.br

ABSTRACT

Aim  Our aim is to investigate the relationship between body size and geographical range in Neotropical marsupials, considering the possible effects of latitude and phylogeny.

Location  Neotropical region.

Methods  Phylogenetic generalized least-squares regression method (PGLS) is used to investigate the relationship between body size, geographical range, and latitude considering the phylogenetic relationship between species. Data for 22 species were compiled from the literature.

Results  The scattergram of body size vs. geographical range was triangular in shape. Body size and geographical range were positively correlated throughout the phylogeny. Latitude was not important to this relationship.

Conclusions  The polygonal relationship between geographical range and body size seems to be moulded by ecological and geographical constraints rather than by a common association with latitude.

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