Title

Neotropical birds show a humped distribution of within-population genetic diversity along a latitudinal transect

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-2010

Publication Title

Ecology Letters

Publisher

Blackwell publishing

Volume

13

First page number:

576

Last page number:

586

Abstract

The latitudinal gradient in species richness is a nearly universal ecological phenomenon. Similarly, conspecific genetic diversity often increases towards the equator – usually explained as the consequence of post-glacial range expansion or due to the shared response of genetic diversity to processes that promote species richness. However, no study has yet examined the relationship between latitude and within-population genetic diversity in exclusively tropical species. We surveyed genetic variation in nine resident bird species co-occurring in tropical lowlands between southern Mexico and western Ecuador, where avian species richness increases with decreasing latitude. Within population genetic variation was always highest at mid-range latitudes, and not in the most equatorial populations. Differences in demography and gene flow across species ranges may explain some of our observations; however, much of the pattern may be due simply to geometric constraints. Our findings have implications for conservation planning and for understanding how biodiversity scales from genes to communities.

Keywords

Biodiversity; Biogeography; Phylogeography; Population biology; Tropics

Disciplines

Biodiversity | Ornithology | Population Biology

Language

English

Permissions

Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or use interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the article. Publisher copyright policy allows author to archive post-print (author’s final manuscript). When post-print is available or publisher policy changes, the article will be deposited.

Identifier

DOI: http://ezproxy.library.unlv.edu/login?url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01454.x