Clade Age and Not Diversification Rate Explains Species Richness among Animal Taxa

@article{McPeek2007CladeAA,
  title={Clade Age and Not Diversification Rate Explains Species Richness among Animal Taxa},
  author={M. McPeek and Jonathan M. Brown},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  year={2007},
  volume={169},
  pages={E97 - E106}
}
Animal taxa show remarkable variability in species richness across phylogenetic groups. Most explanations for this disparity postulate that taxa with more species have phenotypes or ecologies that cause higher diversification rates (i.e., higher speciation rates or lower extinction rates). Here we show that clade longevity, and not diversification rate, has primarily shaped patterns of species richness across major animal clades: more diverse taxa are older and thus have had more time to… Expand

Paper Mentions

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  • Biology, Medicine
  • The American Naturalist
  • 2009
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It is found that species richness is effectively independent of clade age in four of five data sets and that ecological limits on clade growth, such as geographic area, appear to mediate temporal declines in diversification within higher taxa. Expand
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It is demonstrated that this decoupling of age and richness is unlikely to result from variation in net diversification rates among clades, and implies that a fundamentally different interpretative paradigm may be needed in the study of phylogenetic diversity patterns in many groups of organisms. Expand
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It is demonstrated that estimates of speciation and extinction ignoring fossils are insufficient to infer diversification and information on extinct lineages should be incorporated into phylogenetic analyses. Expand
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