Feb 18, 2016

Into the tropics: phylogenomics and evolutionary dynamics of a contrarian clade of ants

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Michael G. BranstetterSeán G. Brady


Aim. The standard latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG), in which species richness decreases from equator to pole, is a pervasive pattern observed in most groups of organisms. Despite its commonness, an increasing number of non-conforming lineages have been identified, presenting a challenge for general explanations of the standard LDG. Although problematic, documenting and studying these contrarian groups can help us to better understand LDGs generally. To that end we identify the ant tribe Stenammini, a diverse lineage with over 400 species, as a contrarian clade, and we attempt to explain the group's atypical diversity pattern using a historical approach. We evaluate the following alternative hypotheses: time-for-speciation/center-of-origin (TFS/COO), niche conservatism, and differences in diversification rate. Location. Global. Methods. We examine the shape of the LDG in Stenammini by plotting latitudinal midpoints for all extant species. We then infer a robust phylogeny using a phylogenomic approach that employs ultraconserved element loci and we use the phylogeny to estimate divergence dates, biogeographic history, and ancestral habitats. We also test for diversification rate heterogeneity across the tree and among lineage...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

AGR2 gene
Trees (plant)
Phylogenetic Analysis
Ma+Ta Antibody

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