Climatic niche attributes and diversification in Anolis lizards

Velasco, Julián A., Martínez-Meyer, Enrique, Flores-Villela, Oscar, García, Andrés, Algar, Adam C., Köhler, Gunther and Daza, Juan M. (2016) Climatic niche attributes and diversification in Anolis lizards. Journal of Biogeography, 43 (1). pp. 134-144. ISSN 1365-2699

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The aim of this study was to test the link between climatic niche dynamics and species diversification in Anolis on islands and on the mainland. We tested the hypotheses that lineages in warmer climates and with narrow climate niches diversified more than lineages in cold climates and with broad climate niches. We also tested the hypothesis that species-rich clades exhibit greater niche diversity than species-poor clades.




We collated occurrence records for 328 Anolis species to estimate niche breadth, niche position and occupied niche space (as a proxy for niche diversity). We compared niche breadth between insular and mainland Anolis species and among Anolis clades, controlling for the potential confounding effect of range size. Using two approaches (clade-based and QuaSSE) we explored the association between niche metrics and diversification rates in Anolis lizards.


We found that Caribbean Anolis had a narrower niche breadth and niche space occupation compared to mainland anoles after controlling for range size differences. There was a significant association between niche traits (mean niche position and niche breadth) and diversification in anoles. Anole lineages with narrow niche breadths and that occupy warmer areas exhibited higher speciation rates than those with broader niche breadths and that occupy cold areas. Similarly, clades with higher total diversification exhibit more niche diversity than clades with lower total diversification.

Main conclusions

Climatic niche attributes play a role in anole diversification with some differences between mainland and insular anole lineages. Climatic niche differences between regions and clades likely are related to differences in niche evolutionary rates. This also suggests that climate plays a strong role in shaping species richness between and within mainland and islands.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Velasco, J. A., Martínez-Meyer, E., Flores-Villela, O., García, A., Algar, A. C., Köhler, G. and Daza, J. M. (2016), Climatic niche attributes and diversification in Anolis lizards. J. Biogeogr., 43: 134–144. doi:10.1111/jbi.12627 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Geography
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Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2017 15:40
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 17:29

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