Why are there so many species in the tropics

Published on Jan 1, 2014in Journal of Biogeography3.88
· DOI :10.1111/jbi.12228
James H. Brown104
Estimated H-index: 104
(UNM: University of New Mexico)
Known for centuries, the geographical pattern of increasing biodiversity from the poles to the equator is one of the most pervasive features of life on Earth. A longstanding goal of biogeographers has been to understand the primary factors that generate and maintain high diversity in the tropics. Many ‘historical’ and ‘ecological’ hypotheses have been proposed and debated, but there is still little consensus. Recent discussions have centred around two main phenomena: phylogenetic niche conservatism and ecological productivity. These two factors play important roles, but accumulating theoretical and empirical studies suggest that the single most important factor is kinetics: the temperature dependence of ecological and evolutionary rates. The relatively high temperatures in the tropics generate and maintain high diversity because ‘the Red Queen runs faster when she is hot’.
Figures & Tables
  • References (115)
  • Citations (182)
#1Michael C. Gavin (CSU: Colorado State University)H-Index: 13
#2Carlos A. Botero (NCSU: North Carolina State University)H-Index: 16
Last.Adam Powell (UCL: University College London)H-Index: 14
view all 10 authors...
#1Brian W. Bowen (UH: University of Hawaii)H-Index: 61
#2Luiz A. Rocha (California Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 35
Last.Stephen A. Karl (UH: University of Hawaii)H-Index: 23
view all 4 authors...
#1Tom S. Romdal (UCPH: University of Copenhagen)H-Index: 8
#2Miguel B. Araújo (University of Évora)H-Index: 77
Last.Carsten Rahbek (UCPH: University of Copenhagen)H-Index: 63
view all 3 authors...
#1Daniel J. Johnson (IU: Indiana University Bloomington)H-Index: 11
#2Wesley T. Beaulieu (IU: Indiana University Bloomington)H-Index: 10
Last.Keith Clay (IU: Indiana University Bloomington)H-Index: 54
view all 4 authors...
#1Bradford A. Hawkins (UCI: University of California, Irvine)H-Index: 62
#2Christy M. McCain (AMNH: American Museum of Natural History)H-Index: 24
Last.Robert D. Holt (UF: University of Florida)H-Index: 89
view all 10 authors...
Cited By182
#1Hanieh Saeedi (Goethe University Frankfurt)H-Index: 1
#2Mark J. Costello (University of Auckland)H-Index: 36
Last.A. Brandt (Goethe University Frankfurt)H-Index: 85
view all 3 authors...
#1Hanieh Saeedi (Goethe University Frankfurt)H-Index: 5
#2Marianna Simoes (Goethe University Frankfurt)
Last.Angelika Brandt (Goethe University Frankfurt)
view all 3 authors...
#1Théo Gaboriau (University of Montpellier)H-Index: 2
#2Camille Albouy ('IFREMER': IFREMER)H-Index: 17
Last.Fabien Leprieur (University of Montpellier)H-Index: 22
view all 6 authors...
#1Leila Meyer (UFG: Universidade Federal de Goiás)
#2José Alexandre Felizola Diniz-Filho (UFG: Universidade Federal de Goiás)H-Index: 52
Last.W. Daniel Kissling (UvA: University of Amsterdam)H-Index: 26
view all 7 authors...
View next paperOn the Generality of the Latitudinal Diversity Gradient