"Few studies have looked at ecological traits such as dispersal and feeding generalization as explanations for variation in rate of diversification, perhaps because these traits are challenging to quantify," says Phillimore. "Hopefully our findings may stimulate research into the role played by ecological traits in the diversification of other types of organisms."
The study found that bird families with high seasonal dispersal rates and very general feeding patterns also had the highest species diversification rates.
Albert B Phillimore, Robert P. Freckleton, C. David L. Orme, and Ian P. F. Owens. "Ecology predicts large-scale patterns of phylogenetic diversification in birds." The American Naturalist 167:7.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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