Evol Ecol Res 3: 379-392 (2001)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Three evolutionary hypotheses for the hump-shaped productivity–diversity curve

Mark A. VanderMeulen,1,2 André J. Hudson1,3 and Samuel M. Scheiner1*

1Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA, 2Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA and 31B Judges Terrace, Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland A2A 1L3, Canada

Address all correspondence to Samuel M. Scheiner, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230, USA.
e-mail: sscheine@nsf.gov


We consider the problem of the hump-shaped relationship between productivity and diversity from an evolutionary perspective, based on the assumption that productivity is positively correlated with population size. Although productivity has little evolutionary meaning, population size is evolutionarily meaningful, leading to three hypotheses: (1) Diversity is higher at intermediate productivities because the maximum difference between speciation rates and extinction rates occurs in such habitats. (2) Diversity is higher at intermediate productivities because, in those areas, most species evolve at the maximal rate. (3) Diversity is higher at intermediate productivities because, in those environments, there are more types of successful adaptations. We recommend tests of the hypotheses based on differing predictions of the origin of evolutionary novelties and the response to mass extinction events.

Keywords: diversity, extinction, hump-shaped curve, population size, productivity, speciation.

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        © 2001 Samuel M. Scheiner. 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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