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EEB Thursday Seminar: Tropical mountains: biodiversity hotspots and hotbeds for studying evolutionary diversification

Daniel Cadena, Professor, Dept of Biological Sciences, Universidad de Los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia)

Scenic view of mountains and clouds Scenic view of mountains and clouds
Northern South America is a hotspot of biological diversity and endemism in various groups, including birds. Thus, understanding the factors promoting high diversity in this region is central to biogeography and macroecology. Although some studies focused on understanding environmental factors associated with global patterns of diversity have revealed strong effects of contemporary climate and energy availability on such patterns, some have had limited success in predicting species richness in montane areas, where many range-restricted species are concentrated. Because present-day diversity reflects not only contemporary and local conditions but also historical and regional processes, the high diversity of birds in the Neotropics birds may be partly explained by high opportunities for evolutionary diversification. Therefore, an adequate understanding of tropical biodiversity requires a link between ecology and evolutionary biology to consider mechanisms promoting species coexistence as well the influence of processes of speciation, extinction, and dispersal. In this talk I will explore evolutionary hypotheses posed account for replacement of related species along elevational gradients, one of the patterns accounting for high beta diversity in tropical mountains. I will also present examples of my studies on biogeography, and speciation of Neotropical vertebrates to illustrate historical processes that may have led to their high diversity, including the role of changes in migratory behavior in speciation in birds, and the influence of asynchronous breeding seasons resulting from spatial variation in climate driving population divergence in birds and amphibians.

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When and Where

Map Biological Sciences Building - 1060

January 2019

4:00pm - 5:00pm

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