Testing for coevolutionary diversification: linking pattern with process

This week in the macroevolution journal club we will read a paper by Althoff et al. 2014 : "Testing for coevolutionary diversification: linking pattern with process". Join us for a discussion of this short review on potential mechanisms of coevolutionary diversification and ways to test it.


Abstract: Coevolutionary diversification is cited as a major mechanism driving the evolution of diversity, particularly in plants and insects. However, tests of coevolutionary diversification have focused on elucidating macroevolutionary patterns rather than the processes giving rise to such patterns. Hence, there is weak evidence that coevolution promotes diversification. This is in part due to a lack of understanding about the mechanisms by which coevolution can cause speciation and the difficulty of integrating results across micro- and macroevolutionary scales. In this review, we highlight potential mechanisms of coevolutionary diversification, outline approaches to examine this process across temporal scales, and propose a set of minimal requirements for demonstrating coevolutionary diversification. Our aim is to stimulate research that tests more rigorously for coevolutionary diversification. 

Published May 20, 2014 1:10 PM