The geologic and climatic dynamism of the landscape can drive the pace of speciation and extinction of the organisms that occupy it. However, regional abiotic histories are often complex, making the study of how they have shaped the species diversity of mainland biotas challenging! Oceanic islands, however, offer extraordinary opportunities for unravelling the nature of diversity dynamics. Volcanic hotspot archipelagoes like the Hawaiian islands are sequentially formed, effectively providing multiple temporal snapshots of diversity. Furthermore, each island has a tractable and relatively predictable geologic trajectory, which allows us to characterize the role of landscape dynamism on species diversification. Here, using a novel geologically-informed diversification model of the relationship between species richness and changing island area, we infer how species richness of various endemic plant and animal clades have changed over their macroevolutionary history. The results suggest that landscape dynamism can drive the evolutionary dynamics of clades over large temporal scales, including long-term and ongoing evolutionary decline.
Lim Junying is a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley. His research lies at the intersection between macroevolutionary dynamics, niche evolution, community ecology and biogeography. He is especially interested in how large scale geologic and climatic dynamism has shaped the spatial and temporal variation in Earth’s biota up to the present day, and how ecological and evolutionary processes may play out in an era of global climate change.
Date & Time: 27 Feb (Tue) 3pm
Venue: NUS Block S2 Level 4 Seminar Room 1