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Shedding new light on an old diversification debate by integrating niche modelling and phylogenetics Event as iCalendar

15 July 2019

1 - 2pm

Venue: Mac 1 Biology Building

Location: 5 Symonds St

Host: SBS

Contact info: Cate MacInnis-Ng

Contact email:

Dr Matthew J Larcombe
Dr Matthew J Larcombe

Speaker: Dr Matthew J Larcombe, Department of Botany, University of Otago

Why do some lineages have hundreds or even thousands of species, while others only have a few? Two longstanding hypotheses disagree about the importance of competition in driving such differences in diversification.

The bounded hypothesis suggests that species accumulation is limited (bounded) by competition between species for finite ecological niche space. Conversely, the unbounded hypothesis proposes that evolution and ecological opportunity associated with speciation render competition unimportant.

In this seminar Dr Matthew Larcombe will describe work that combines niche modelling, phylogenetics and statistics to test the relative importance of these hypotheses during conifer diversification. Dr Larcombe and colleagues found that bounded and unbounded processes contributed more or less equally to species accumulation in conifers, arguing for a more nuanced model of diversification. The results lead them to hypothesise that niche dimensionality may facilitate the parallel operation of bounded and unbounded process.

For more information please contact Cate MacInnis-Ng