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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)
The extinction of dinosaurs at the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary was the seminal event that opened the door for the subsequent diversification of terrestrial mammals. Our compilation of maximum body size at the ordinal level by sub-epoch shows a near-exponential increase after the K/Pg. On each continent, the maximum size of mammals leveled off after(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)
The Metabolic Theory of Ecology (MTE) posits that the temperature-dependent kinetics of metabolism shape broad-scale patterns of biodiversity. Here we test whether the MTE accounts for patterns of diversity using 102 elevational diversity gradients of reptiles and amphibians. In particular, we examined the support for the two key predictions of the MTE:(More)
A latitudinal gradient in biodiversity has existed since before the time of the dinosaurs, yet how and why this gradient arose remains unresolved. Here we review two major hypotheses for the origin of the latitudinal diversity gradient. The time and area hypothesis holds that tropical climates are older and historically larger, allowing more opportunity for(More)
In 1967, Daniel Janzen proposed the influential, but largely untested hypothesis, that tropical mountain passes are physiologically higher than temperate mountains. I test his key prediction, the one upon which all the others rely: namely, that elevational range sizes of organisms get larger on mountains at increasing latitudes. My analyses use 170 montane(More)
Aim The global species richness patterns of birds and mammals are strongly congruent. This could reflect similar evolutionary responses to the Earth's history, shared responses to current climatic conditions, or both. We compare the geographical and phylogenetic structures of both richness gradients to evaluate these possibilities. Methods Gridded bird and(More)
Partner Organizations Matching funds have been provided by the The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has supported a diversity of NCEAS projects. A new project is designed to identify, map and compare the importance of human impacts on the California Current marine ecosystem. This project partners the University of California with non-governmental(More)
We introduce a novel framework for conceptualising, quantifying and unifying discordant patterns of species richness along geographical gradients. While not itself explicitly mechanistic, this approach offers a path towards understanding mechanisms. In this study, we focused on the diverse patterns of species richness on mountainsides. We conjectured that(More)