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The coexistence of competing species depends on the balance between their fitness differences, which determine their competitive inequalities, and their niche differences, which stabilise their competitive interactions. Darwin proposed that evolution causes species' niches to diverge, but the influence of evolution on relative fitness differences, and the(More)
A longstanding concept in community ecology is that closely related species compete more strongly than distant relatives. Ecologists have invoked this "limiting similarity hypothesis" to explain patterns in the structure and function of biological communities and to inform conservation, restoration, and invasive-species management. However, few studies have(More)
Phylogenetic tools and ‘tree-thinking’ approaches increasingly permeate all biological research. At the same time, phylogenetic data sets are expanding at breakneck pace, facilitated by increasingly economical sequencing technologies. Therefore, there is an urgent need for accessible, modular, and sharable tools for phylogenetic analysis. We developed a(More)
The competition-relatedness hypothesis (CRH) predicts that the strength of competition is the strongest among closely related species and decreases as species become less related. This hypothesis is based on the assumption that common ancestry causes close relatives to share biological traits that lead to greater ecological similarity. Although intuitively(More)
Until recently, the study of negative and antagonistic interactions (for example, competition and predation) has dominated our understanding of community structure, maintenance and assembly. Nevertheless, a recent theoretical model suggests that positive interactions (for example, mutualisms) may counterbalance competition, facilitating long-term(More)
1. A long-standing hypothesis in ecology and evolutionary biology is that closely related species are more ecologically similar to each other and therefore compete more strongly than distant relatives do. A recent hypothesis posits that evolutionary relatedness may also explain the prevalence of mutualisms, with facilitative interactions being more common(More)
Freshwater fish evolution has been shaped by changes in the earth's surface involving changes in the courses of rivers and fluctuations in sea level. The main objective of this study is to improve our knowledge of the evolution of loricariids, a numerous and adaptive group of freshwater catfish species, and the role of geological changes in their evolution.(More)
The impact of biodiversity on the stability of ecological communities has been debated among biologists for more than a century. Recently summarized empirical evidence suggests that biodiversity tends to enhance the temporal stability of community-level properties such as biomass; however, the underlying mechanisms driving this relationship remain poorly(More)
Biologists have held the tenet that closely related species compete more strongly with each other than with distant relatives since 1859, when Darwin observed that close relatives seldom co-occur in nature and suggested it was because they competitively exclude one another. The expectation that close relatives experience greater competition than distant(More)
Plant litter breakdown is a key ecological process in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Streams and rivers, in particular, contribute substantially to global carbon fluxes. However, there is little information available on the relative roles of different drivers of plant litter breakdown in fresh waters, particularly at large scales. We present a(More)