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”

Diversity of the Deep

Previous work has characterized diversity gradients in terrestrial and shallow-water system. Are these previously described diversity gradients also applicable to hard-substrate features in the deep sea? Above: Some example seabed images from the cruises around St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (Credit: British Antarctic Survey/Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science). Investigation into theContinue reading “Diversity of the Deep”

Flowers, biomes, and a mountain of data

Describing patterns of flowering time in plant communities across six biomes, and showing how they relate to climate means and climate predictability – all using open access data and a reproducible analysis in R. Above: Bossiaea foliosa (Leafy Bossiaea) flowering in the Snowy Mountains in southeast Australia. Alpine flowering is often highly concentrated, as everythingContinue reading “Flowers, biomes, and a mountain of data”

The Paleotropical Biome Rode the Ark of the Indian Plate from Africa to Asia

Tropical biomes today occupy a disjunct distribution around the equator covering about 7% of land surface, but harbouring more than 40% of plant species. This mystery is a fascinating topic yet to be fully addressed. We attempt to solve this mystery using our knowledge on the origin and migration of tropical gingers across these globalContinue reading “The Paleotropical Biome Rode the Ark of the Indian Plate from Africa to Asia”

Climate and environment shape jackal diet

Dietary flexibility promotes range expansion: The case of golden jackals in Eurasia. Above: Golden jackal in carcass cleaning role (with raven Corvus corax). According to the literature, the consumption of wild ungulates and domestic animals are mainly due to scavenging. Photo: Zoltán Horváth. Global changes can lead to the expansion of a species geographical range.Continue reading “Climate and environment shape jackal diet”

Historical biogeography in recent evolving Neotropical mammals

Oligoryzomys is an intriguing genus of sigmodontines that is distributed in almost all ecoregions of South America and continental Middle America. How did it get to be so diverse and distributed so broadly? Above: A Patagonian specimen of Oligoryzomys longicaudatus, a species representative of one the fastest and geographically wide radiation of Neotropical mammals (photoContinue reading “Historical biogeography in recent evolving Neotropical mammals”

Pseudocongruent phylogeographic patterns in forest-living herpetofauna

Similar phylogeographic patterns do not necessarily imply similar evolutionary histories. Instead, environmental factors like the formation of rivers, ancient climatic cycles and climatic gradients could collectively interact with the unique life histories species to strengthen dispersal barriers at different times and generate complex biogeographic patterns. Above: Isolated forest fragment in the Eastern Cape Province ofContinue reading “Pseudocongruent phylogeographic patterns in forest-living herpetofauna”