Modeling the ecology and evolution of biodiversity: Biogeographical cradles, museums, and graves – University of Copenhagen

CMEC > Highlighted CMEC papers > Modeling the ecology a...

20 July 2018

Modeling the ecology and evolution of biodiversity: Biogeographical cradles, museums, and graves

Published in Science by Rangel, T. F., ... , Rahbek, C. and Colwell, R. K.

Abstract

Individual processes that shape geographical patterns of biodiversity are increasingly understood, but their complex interactions on broad spatial and temporal scales remain beyond the reach of analytical models and traditional experiments. To meet this challenge, we built a spatially explicit, mechanistic model that simulates the history of life on the South American continent, driven by modeled climates of the past 800,000 years. Operating at the level of geographical ranges of populations, our simulations implemented adaptation, geographical range shifts, range fragmentation, speciation, long-distance dispersal, competition between species, and extinction. Only four parameters were required to control these processes (dispersal distance, evolutionary rate, time for speciation, and intensity of competition). To assess the effects of topographic heterogeneity, we experimentally smoothed the climate maps in some treatments.

Download the paper