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Nate Upham @n8_upham
, 6 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Our preprint of Mammalia-wide evolution -- announcing a new tree of life for 5911 species based on a single DNA matrix and fossil node- and tip-dating. We show how ecology (vagility, latitude, diurnality) best explains living diversity & speciation rates.
2/ Bayesian posterior sets of 10,000 trees are built using a 'backbone-and-patch' framework and 31-gene supermatrix of 4098 species (70% of total). This approach gives realistic uncertainty in branch lengths and topology for comparative analyses of mammalian evolutionary rates.
3/ We show that rates of species diversification vary through time: 1) tree wide, with an uptick in lineage turnover near the K-Pg boundary matching that seen in mammal fossils; 2) among lineages, with 24 major rate shifts detected across the tree; and 3) within clades (rodents!)
4/ We develop a new method of using time-sliced clades, defined at 5-Ma intervals, to test the relative impacts of clade age vs rate on species richness. Mean and skewness in species rates explain most of the richness variation--but what drives that among-clade rate variation?...
5/ We use path analysis to link species ecological traits to uneven rates and richness among clades--species with lower dispersal ability and clades at non-tropical latitudes are paradoxically diversifying the fastest.

High turnover (speciation + extinction) may be implicated.
6/ In contrast, diurnal species like squirrels & primates are also diversifying rapidly but for reasons of persistence (less extinction)

Overall, by connecting #ecology to #macroevolution, we help explain why some branches of the mammal #treeoflife are more speciose than others.
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