Geographic variation in the age of temperate-zone reptile and amphibian species: Southern Hemisphere species are older

Sylvain Dubey*, Richard Shine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite controversy over alternative definitions, the species is the fundamental operational unit of biodiversity, and species are the buildingblocks of conservation. But is a 'species' from one part of the world the same as a 'species' from elsewhere? Our meta-analysis of molecular phylogenetic data reveals that reptile and amphibian species distributed in temperate-zone areas of the Northern Hemisphere are younger than taxa from the Southern Hemisphere, probably reflecting the greater impact of past climatic variation on Northern Hemisphere habitats. Because a species' age may influence its vulnerability to anthropogenic threats, geographical variation in species ages should be incorporated into conservation planning. This journal is

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-97
Number of pages2
JournalBiology Letters
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • reptile
  • amphibian
  • molecular dating
  • intraspecific diversification
  • conservation status

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