Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Biol Sci. 2012 Apr 22;279(1733):1567-74. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1922. Epub 2011 Nov 16.

High dispersal ability inhibits speciation in a continental radiation of passerine birds.

Author information

Museum of Natural Science and Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.


Dispersal can stimulate speciation by facilitating geographical expansion across barriers or inhibit speciation by maintaining gene flow among populations. Therefore, the relationship between dispersal ability and speciation rates can be positive or negative. Furthermore, an 'intermediate dispersal' model that combines positive and negative effects predicts a unimodal relationship between dispersal and diversification. Because both dispersal ability and speciation rates are difficult to quantify, empirical evidence for the relationship between dispersal and diversification remains scarce. Using a surrogate for flight performance and a species-level DNA-based phylogeny of a large South American bird radiation (the Furnariidae), we found that lineages with higher dispersal ability experienced lower speciation rates. We propose that the degree of fragmentation or permeability of the geographical setting together with the intermediate dispersal model are crucial in reconciling previous, often contradictory findings regarding the relationship between dispersal and diversification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center