Evol Ecol Res 5: 69-77 (2003)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Why is there a tropical–temperate disparity in the genetic diversity and taxonomy of species?

Andrew A. Chek,1 James D. Austin2 and Stephen C. Lougheed2*

1Organization for Tropical Studies, Duke University, Box 90630, Durham, NC 27708-0630, USA and 2Department of Biology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: lougheed@biology.queensu.ca


Studies over the last few decades have suggested that neotropical vertebrate taxa may have greater genetic disparity than their nearctic counterparts. Here, a robust test of this suggestion using bootstrap resampling of allozyme data for 53 passerine (16 nearctic and 37 neotropical) species confirms the pattern. This disparity could be due to taxonomic artifacts or to differences in the rate or history of genetic processes between regions. In contrast, a selection-based explanation emphasizes negative feedback of species richness on rates of phenotypic, but not molecular, evolution in neotropical species.

Keywords: allozymes, biodiversity, bootstrap, genetic disparity, latitudinal gradient, Nearctic, Neotropics, phenotype, species richness, taxonomy.

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        © 2003 Stephen C. Lougheed. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

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