Phylogenetic inference of reciprocal effects between geographic range evolution and diversification

Emma E. Goldberg, Lesley T. Lancaster, Richard H. Ree

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293 Scopus citations


Geographic characters-traits describing the spatial distribution of a species-may both affect and be affected by processes associated with lineage birth and death. This is potentially confounding to comparative analyses of species distributions because current models do not allow reciprocal interactions between the evolution of ranges and the growth of phylogenetic trees. Here, we introduce a likelihood-based approach to estimating region-dependent rates of speciation, extinction, and range evolution from a phylogeny, using a new model in which these processes are interdependent. We demonstrate the method with simulation tests that accurately recover parameters relating to the mode of speciation and source-sink dynamics. We then apply it to the evolution of habitat occupancy in Californian plant communities, where we find higher rates of speciation in chaparral than in forests and evidence for expanding habitat tolerances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-465
Number of pages15
JournalSystematic Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
FUNDING This work was supported by the National Science Foundation [DEB-0919089 to E.E.G., DEB-0614108 to R.H.R.]; and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, a center funded by the National Science Foundation [DEB-0072909 to L.T.L.].


  • Biogeography
  • comparative methods
  • diversification
  • macroevolution


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