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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Frontiers of Biogeography

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Lineages through space and time plots: Visualising spatial and temporal changes in diversity


During the radiation of a clade, diversification rates can show temporal patterns such as a speedup or slowdown, which might relate to different ecological and evolutionary mechanisms. The temporal dynamics of diversification of whole clades are often visualised as a lineage-through-time (LTT) plot, which traces the number of reconstructed lineages at different time points. However, clades do not radiate evenly across space and may show different temporal dynamics in different regions. As such, a biogeographic approach is required to more completely understand temporal diversification dynamics. Here, I present a tool to extract temporal diversity information across different biogeographic regions from the output of commonly used ancestral range estimation models implemented in the R package BioGeoBEARS. The lineages through space and time (LTST) plot allows for visualisation of diversification dynamics in different regions, formatted in an accessible way which can be used for further quantitative analysis.

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