Evolutionary consequences of changes in species' geographical distributions driven by Milankovitch climate oscillations

August 1, 2000
97 (16) 9115-9120

Abstract

We suggest Milankovitch climate oscillations as a common cause for geographical patterns in species diversity, species' range sizes, polyploidy, and the degree of specialization and dispersability of organisms. Periodical changes in the orbit of the Earth cause climatic changes termed Milankovitch oscillations, leading to large changes in the size and location of species' geographical distributions. We name these recurrent changes “orbitally forced species' range dynamics” (ORD). The magnitude of ORD varies in space and time. ORD decreases gradual speciation (attained by gradual changes over many generations), increases range sizes and the proportions of species formed by polyploidy and other “abrupt” mechanisms, selects against specialization, and favor dispersability. Large ORD produces species prone neither to extinction nor gradual speciation. ORD increases with latitude. This produces latitudinal patterns, among them the gradient in species diversity and species' range sizes (Rapoport's rule). Differential ORD and its evolutionary consequences call for new conservation strategies on the regional to global scale.

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Acknowledgments

We thank G. Arnqvist, K. D. Bennett, A. G. Fischer, K. Hylander, E. G. Leigh, Jr., A. N. Nilsson, C. Nilsson, R. E. Ricklefs, and A. Saura for improving the manuscript with their comments, and A. J. Weaver for providing us with Fig. 2B. E. Carlborg and M. Svedmark helped with data and reference management. M.D. thanks the Swedish Council for Forestry and Agricultural Research.

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Information & Authors

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Published in

Go to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Vol. 97 | No. 16
August 1, 2000
PubMed: 10922067

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Submission history

Received: February 22, 2000
Published online: August 1, 2000
Published in issue: August 1, 2000

Acknowledgments

We thank G. Arnqvist, K. D. Bennett, A. G. Fischer, K. Hylander, E. G. Leigh, Jr., A. N. Nilsson, C. Nilsson, R. E. Ricklefs, and A. Saura for improving the manuscript with their comments, and A. J. Weaver for providing us with Fig. 2B. E. Carlborg and M. Svedmark helped with data and reference management. M.D. thanks the Swedish Council for Forestry and Agricultural Research.

Authors

Affiliations

Mats Dynesius*
Landscape Ecology Group, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
Roland Jansson*,
Landscape Ecology Group, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Notes

*
M.D. and R.J. contributed equally to this work.
To whom reprint requests should be addressed. E-mail: [email protected].
Edited by Alfred G. Fischer, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, and approved June 2, 2000

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    Evolutionary consequences of changes in species' geographical distributions driven by Milankovitch climate oscillations
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    • Vol. 97
    • No. 16
    • pp. 8747-9347

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