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It is often claimed that we do not understand the forces driving the global diversity gradient. However, an extensive literature suggests that contemporary climate constrains terrestrial taxonomic richness over broad geographic extents. Here, we review the empirical literature to examine the nature and form of the relationship between climate and richness.(More)
Broad-scale variation in taxonomic richness is strongly correlated with climate. Many mechanisms have been hypothesized to explain these patterns; however, testable predictions that would distinguish among them have rarely been derived. Here, we examine several prominent hypotheses for climate–richness relationships, deriving and testing predictions based(More)
The diversity of life is ultimately generated by evolution, and much attention has focused on the rapid evolution of ecological traits. Yet, the tendency for many ecological traits to instead remain similar over time [niche conservatism (NC)] has many consequences for the fundamental patterns and processes studied in ecology and conservation biology. Here,(More)
Aim We surveyed the empirical literature to determine how well six diversity hypotheses account for spatial patterns in species richness across varying scales of grain and extent. Location Worldwide. Methods We identified 393 analyses ('cases') in 297 publications meeting our criteria. These criteria included the requirement that more than one diversity(More)
Studies mostly focused on communities of primary producers have shown that species richness provides and promotes fundamental ecosystem services. However, we know very little about the factors influencing ecosystem services provided by higher trophic levels in natural food webs. Here we present evidence that differences in food web structure and the(More)
We compiled 46 broadscale data sets of species richness for a wide range of terrestrial plant, invertebrate, and ectothermic vertebrate groups in all parts of the world to test the ability of metabolic theory to account for observed diversity gradients. The theory makes two related predictions: (1) In-transformed richness is linearly associated with a(More)
A major line of behavioral support for motor-program theory derives from evidence indicating that feedback does not influence the execution and control of limited duration movements. Since feedback cannot be utilized, the motor-program is assumed to act as the controlling agent. in a classic study, Keele and Posner observed that visual feedback had no(More)
Biologists have long searched for mechanisms responsible for the increase in species richness with decreasing latitude. The strong correlation between species richness and climate is frequently interpreted as reflecting a causal link via processes linked to energy or evolutionary rates. Here, we investigate how the aggregation of clades, as dictated by(More)