Recent Papers on the Neutral Theory (the Biodiversity One)…

Posted on Posted in Fun Stuff, Research Updates

The neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography attempts to explain complex patterns seen in the distribution of species through space and time with neutral processes including speciation, extinction, and dispersal.

Just stumbled upon some recent papers concerning the neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography that I thought I’d share.  The first is an examination of the effects of neutral processes on phylogenetic tree imbalance (Davies et al. 2011). Interestingly, the authors find that neutral theory can account for the variation in species diversity among clades on the Tree of Life, but their model does not capture the tempo of diversification seen in empirical studies (i.e., neutral processes do not tend to produce clades showing evidence of declining speciation rates). The second is a review article from TREE “The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography at Age Ten” (Rosindell et al. 2011), that I’m still working through, but am finding informative.

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