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The effects of archipelago spatial structure on island diversity and endemism: predictions from a spatially-structured neutral model

Abstract : Islands are particularly suited to testing hypotheses about the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms underpinning community assembly. Yet the complex spatial arrangements of real island systems have received little attention from both empirical studies and theoretical models. Here, we investigate the extent to which the spatial structure of archipelagos affects species diversity and endemism. We start by proposing a new spatially structured neutral model that explicitly considers archipelago structure, and then investigate its predictions under a diversity of scenarios. Our results suggest that considering the spatial structure of archipelagos is crucial to understanding their diversity and endemism, with structured island systems acting both as museums and cradles of biodiversity. These dynamics of diversification may change the traditionally expected pattern of decrease in species richness with distance from the mainland, even potentially leading to increasing patterns for taxa with high speciation rates in archipelagos off species-poor continental areas. Our results also predict that, within spatially structured archipelagos, metapopulation dynamics and evolutionary processes can generate higher diversity on islands more centrally placed than at the periphery. We derive from our results a set of theoretical predictions, potentially testable with empirical data.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02605471
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 11:04:26 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 3:54:49 PM

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Fanny Gascuel, Fabien Laroche, A.S. Bonnet Lebrun, A.S.L. Rodrigues. The effects of archipelago spatial structure on island diversity and endemism: predictions from a spatially-structured neutral model. Evolution - International Journal of Organic Evolution, Wiley, 2016, 70 (11), pp.2657-2666. ⟨10.1111/evo.13067⟩. ⟨hal-02605471⟩

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