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Biomic Specialization and Speciation Rates in Ruminants (Cetartiodactyla, Mammalia): A Test of the Resource-Use Hypothesis at the Global Scale

López Cantalapiedra, Juan and Hernández Fernández, Manuel and Morales, Jorge (2011) Biomic Specialization and Speciation Rates in Ruminants (Cetartiodactyla, Mammalia): A Test of the Resource-Use Hypothesis at the Global Scale. Plos one, 6 (12). pp. 1-10. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

The resource-use hypothesis proposed by E.S. Vrba predicts that specialist species have higher speciation and extinction
rates than generalists because they are more susceptible to environmental changes and vicariance. In this work, we test
some of the predictions derived from this hypothesis on the 197 extant and recently extinct species of Ruminantia
(Cetartiodactyla, Mammalia) using the biomic specialization index (BSI) of each species, which is based on its distribution
within different biomes. We ran 10000 Monte Carlo simulations of our data in order to get a null distribution of BSI values
against which to contrast the observed data. Additionally, we drew on a supertree of the ruminants and a phylogenetic
likelihood-based method (QuaSSE) for testing whether the degree of biomic specialization affects speciation rates in
ruminant lineages. Our results are consistent with the predictions of the resource-use hypothesis, which foretells a higher
speciation rate of lineages restricted to a single biome (BSI = 1) and higher frequency of specialist species in biomes that
underwent high degree of contraction and fragmentation during climatic cycles. Bovids and deer present differential
specialization across biomes; cervids show higher specialization in biomes with a marked hydric seasonality (tropical
deciduous woodlands and schlerophyllous woodlands), while bovids present higher specialization in a greater variety of
biomes. This might be the result of divergent physiological constraints as well as a different biogeographic and evolutionary
history.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Rimiants; Mammalia
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Paleontology
ID Code:15581
Deposited On:12 Jun 2012 09:31
Last Modified:06 Feb 2014 10:27

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