A new take on environmental filtering and habitat matching

Patterns and drivers of environmental filtering and habitat matching are context dependent on a macroecological scale. Above: Panther Creek, Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia. Understanding how communities are assembled is the ‘what we do’ of community ecology: we want to know which species are present and why. With this guiding our work, we wanted to understandContinue reading “A new take on environmental filtering and habitat matching”

Wandering Vultures: Understanding behaviour and space-use for conservation

Vultures travel over large distances; identifying where they are most at risk is imperative to effective conservation work. Vultures are most at risk from illegal poisoning when they are foraging and feeding. Using telemetry data from tagged vultures, we identified these risky behaviours from GPS data and the spaces vultures choose to do them toContinue reading “Wandering Vultures: Understanding behaviour and space-use for conservation”

How seals made Nautilus a ‘Living Fossil’

Increasing predation pressure by pinnipeds through the late Cenozoic drove Nautilus into its present-day refuge in the deep tropical Indo-West Pacific Ocean Above: Reconstruction of the fossil Nautilus taiwanus inhabiting deeper waters of the tropical Indo-West Pacific Ocean about 20 million years ago. Illustration by Cheng-Han Sun. Predator-prey interactions are important drivers of evolution. ForContinue reading How seals made Nautilus a ‘Living Fossil’

How landscape connectivity shapes genetic structure of alpine species over time

How did dispersal and habitat changes over 20,000 years shape the genetic structure of alpine species? We investigated by simulating the spatial dynamics of populations since the glaciation in combination with a large genomic data set on northern chamois. Above: Northern chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) inhabit steep terrain slopes. They can escape predators in steep slopesContinue reading “How landscape connectivity shapes genetic structure of alpine species over time”

Aridification-driven evolution: Three lineages, two data sets, one story

We tested the hypothesis that aridification of Australia during the Pleistocene promoted the isolation and divergence of three lineages of a migratory fish. We found support for this using an integrative framework of environmental and genomic modelling. Above: Golden perch, Macquaria ambigua. Photo credit: Peter Unmack. The Australian landscape has not always been so arid.Continue reading “Aridification-driven evolution: Three lineages, two data sets, one story”

Will Geogenomics change the future of Phylogeography?

Phylogeography is celebrating its 35th birthday; Geogenomics its 8th. We asked authors of papers in a recent special section of Journal of Biogeography to reflect on how these two approaches can increase our understanding of the distributions of genetic diversity. Above: Cover for the Geogenomics virtual issue . Biogeography is an integrative discipline, as isContinue reading “Will Geogenomics change the future of Phylogeography?”

Ecological traits matter

Differences in dispersal abilities and habitat specialization determine the postglacial range expansion of three high-elevation plants Above: Steep limestone cliffs in the Pre-Pyrenees, a glacial refugium for the study species. When I first visited the Pyrenees as a child from the Mediterranean lowlands, I got fascinated by the accordion-like folded landscape, the green and denseContinue reading “Ecological traits matter”

Danish island biogeography

Danish islands help to disentangle how plant dispersal characteristics shape species richness patterns. Above: The Danish coastline with the island Hjelm in the background. © Anders Sanchez Barfod. Suppose you hear the names Galapagos, Hawaiian or Canary Islands. In that case, I am sure you have a picture in mind right away. These islands areContinue reading “Danish island biogeography”

A freshwater wall in the Atlantic

The central role of the Amazon River in the evolution of Western Atlantic reef fishes. Above: Amazon River mouth, where the plume of freshwater and sediment reaches the Atlantic Ocean. Photo by Coordenação-Geral de Observação da Terra/INPE. The magnitude of the Amazon River, by far the largest river of the world, can be illustrated byContinue reading “A freshwater wall in the Atlantic”

Evolution of solitary bees suggests a biogeographic history connecting open habitats in South and North America

More than 1,000 species of eucerine bees exist mainly in savannas, deserts, and other open vegetation habitats on multiple continents, but they are uncommon near the equator and very high latitudes. The historical processes that generated this modern pattern for Eucerinae (and other taxa) are still surrounded by uncertainties. Above: Representatives of each one ofContinue reading “Evolution of solitary bees suggests a biogeographic history connecting open habitats in South and North America”