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Elevation-driven ecological isolation promotes diversification on Mediterranean islands

Title data

Steinbauer, Manuel ; Irl, Severin D. H. ; Beierkuhnlein, Carl:
Elevation-driven ecological isolation promotes diversification on Mediterranean islands.
In: Acta Oecologica. Vol. 47 (2013) . - pp. 52-56.
ISSN 1873-6238
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2012.11.004

Abstract in another language

The percentage of single island neo-endemic species (an indicator for evolutionary diversification) was found to be independent of geographic distance to the continent in the case of the Aegean archipelago. It was concluded that speciation is independent of geographic isolation, while evolutionary processes are rather enhanced by habitat heterogeneity. An island’s maximum elevation was used as an indicator for habitat heterogeneity. In contrast, we argue that habitat heterogeneity (= habitat diversity, i.e. the richness in different habitats) may be positively related to biotic richness, but a positive effect on speciation is yet to be proven. For any other type of heterogeneity, we propose a precise wording, especially when assessing its effect on speciation processes.Alternatively, we propose that elevation-driven ecological isolation causes the pattern of endemic species on high-elevation islands. Environmental filtering along an elevational gradient differentiates ecosystems, leading to an increase of isolation with elevation. The reason is that comparable ecosystems are much farther apart than is the case for lowland ecosystems. In addition, ecosystems on neighboring islands or on the continent that may be source regions for colonizing species are small in area in high elevations in comparison with low elevation ecosystems. Consequently, an increased speciation rate resulting in a larger percentage of single island endemic species can be expected for higher elevations on islands and high mountains. Support for this elevation-driven ecological isolation hypothesis comes from other islands in the Mediterranean region (e.g. Crete and Corsica), where an increase of the percentage of endemic species with elevation has been observed. Thus, the assessment of (genetic-) isolation should incorporate the distance to similar habitats instead of simple land-to-land connections.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER112328
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography > Chair Biogeography - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2015 15:41
Last Modified: 28 May 2015 10:24
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/11626