Aim: Worldwide distribution patterns of living animals are structured in multiple zoogeographical regions, characterized by faunas with homogeneous composition that are separated by sharp boundaries. These zoogeographical regions can differ depending on the considered animal group, probably because they have distinct characteristics such as dispersal, metabolism, or evolutionary history, and thus divergent responses to major biogeographical drivers, such as tectonic movements, abrupt climate transitions and orographic barriers. Here, we tested if the drivers of biogeographical boundaries are different between vertebrate classes with strongly divergent traits and evolutionary history. Location: Global. Time period: Present. Major taxa studied: Amphibians, birds and mammals. Methods: We focused on terrestrial biogeographical boundaries, considering multiple potential drivers: spatial heterogeneity of present-day climate, altitudinal variation, long-term tectonic movements and past climate change (temperature). We used spatially explicit regression models and geographically weighted regressions to select and quantify the factors explaining the position of the biogeographical boundaries between vertebrate classes. Results: For mammals, tectonic movements, abrupt climatic transitions and orographic barriers jointly determined extant biogeographical boundaries, with tectonic movements being the most important. For birds, abrupt climatic transitions played the strongest role, while the effect of orographic barriers was weak. For amphibians, biogeographical boundaries mostly corresponded to areas with abrupt climatic transitions. The strongest transitions of amphibian faunas occur in areas with abrupt shifts of temperature and precipitation regimes. Main conclusions: Our analyses confirmed that different drivers have jointly shaped the global vertebrate biogeographical regions, and highlight that taxa with different features show heterogeneous responses across the globe. Eco-physiological constraints likely increase the importance of spatial heterogeneity of climate, while dispersal limitations magnify the relevance of physical barriers (mountain chains and long-term tectonic instability). Integrating among-taxa heterogeneity into analyses thus provides a more complete view of how different processes determine biodiversity variation across the globe.

Determinants of zoogeographical boundaries differ between vertebrate groups / G.F. Ficetola, F. Mazel, M. Falaschi, S. Marta, W. Thuiller. - In: GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY. - ISSN 1466-822X. - 30:9(2021 Sep), pp. 1796-1809. [10.1111/geb.13345]

Determinants of zoogeographical boundaries differ between vertebrate groups

G.F. Ficetola
Primo
;
M. Falaschi;
2021

Abstract

Aim: Worldwide distribution patterns of living animals are structured in multiple zoogeographical regions, characterized by faunas with homogeneous composition that are separated by sharp boundaries. These zoogeographical regions can differ depending on the considered animal group, probably because they have distinct characteristics such as dispersal, metabolism, or evolutionary history, and thus divergent responses to major biogeographical drivers, such as tectonic movements, abrupt climate transitions and orographic barriers. Here, we tested if the drivers of biogeographical boundaries are different between vertebrate classes with strongly divergent traits and evolutionary history. Location: Global. Time period: Present. Major taxa studied: Amphibians, birds and mammals. Methods: We focused on terrestrial biogeographical boundaries, considering multiple potential drivers: spatial heterogeneity of present-day climate, altitudinal variation, long-term tectonic movements and past climate change (temperature). We used spatially explicit regression models and geographically weighted regressions to select and quantify the factors explaining the position of the biogeographical boundaries between vertebrate classes. Results: For mammals, tectonic movements, abrupt climatic transitions and orographic barriers jointly determined extant biogeographical boundaries, with tectonic movements being the most important. For birds, abrupt climatic transitions played the strongest role, while the effect of orographic barriers was weak. For amphibians, biogeographical boundaries mostly corresponded to areas with abrupt climatic transitions. The strongest transitions of amphibian faunas occur in areas with abrupt shifts of temperature and precipitation regimes. Main conclusions: Our analyses confirmed that different drivers have jointly shaped the global vertebrate biogeographical regions, and highlight that taxa with different features show heterogeneous responses across the globe. Eco-physiological constraints likely increase the importance of spatial heterogeneity of climate, while dispersal limitations magnify the relevance of physical barriers (mountain chains and long-term tectonic instability). Integrating among-taxa heterogeneity into analyses thus provides a more complete view of how different processes determine biodiversity variation across the globe.
biogeographical structure; bioregion; climatic gradients; dispersal; ecological barrier; macroecology; tectonics
Settore BIO/05 - Zoologia
1-lug-2021
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/891033
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