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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The origin and nature of macroecological patterns in amphibians: old questions, novel approaches

  • Author(s): Gouveia, Sidney F.
  • et al.

The role of physiological parameters as determinants of macroscale patterns is still widely disputed. Using amphibians as a model, I revisited three fundamental themes in macroecology from a physiological perspective: the global diversity gradient, ecogeographical rules and the evolution of the climatic niche at physiological and macroecological scales. To do this, I used a variety of data types, performed a number of spatial and phylogenetic analyses and proposed novel applications for some methods. I also provided support for some well-established hypotheses regarding the physiological determinants of species diversity and trait variation across space, while revealing other lesser known patterns and the possible processes underlying species’ distributions and niche evolution. I emphasize the need for a novel integration of theoretical and methodological approaches to improve the analysis of broad-scale ecological processes, in particular those related to the fundamental features (e.g. physiology) of species. I also highlight the strategic role of macroecology in this quest, especially in the face of ongoing environmental changes.


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