ELEVATION, CRYPSIS AND PHYLOGENETIC COMMUNITY
STRUCTURE OF NEOTROPICAL ARTHROPODS
Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution
Friday, July 8, 2016
M. Alex Smith1, K. Pare1, C. Warne1,
W. Hallwachs2 and D. H. Janzen2
1 Department of Integrative Biology
University of Guelph
2 Department of Biology,
University of Pennsylvania
Área de Conservación Guanacaste
In an area ~3.5x the area of the city of St. John’s there are estimated to reside 3% of the world’s biodiversity
• Who lives where?
• How much overlap?
• Is this changing?
Smith, M. A., Hallwachs, W. and
Janzen, D. H. (2014), Diversity and
phylogenetic community structure of
ants along a Costa Rican elevational
gradient. Ecography, 37: 720–731.
An example with
• Most species found at only 1 site
• Small number of sp. with a range
An example with
• Some species found at only 1 site
• Larger number of sp. with a range
Chord Diagram of elevational beta‐
NB: the colours only represent the rows in the comparison and are only present to
facilitate the visualisation of the pairwise connections.
• So there is strong genetic
differentiation at a fine
• Is there corresponding
• “Ant space”
Morphospace along an elevational
• Largest “ant‐space” occurs
with the greatest diversity
• Dry & cloud forest occupy a
subset of this “ant‐space”
• These subsets represent
smaller body measurements
of features that are
functionally associated with
• This does not bode well for
• The largest “Collembola‐
space” occurs in the dry
forest. Not more diverse.
Range of ranges.
• Rain & cloud forest occupy a
different portion of this
• Traits here are those
associated with life at the
1. Turnover: extremely small
• Climate change is affecting and will
continue to affect turnover.
• Vulnerable, vulnerable vulnerable!
2. Degree of coupling between
genetic divergence and
morphospace is not simple
• Related in ants, not so much in
3. What next?
• Community characterisation
• Expansion of functional traits (ie. related
to abiotic variables of thermal ecology)
• Taxonomic expansion
• The ACG for protecting it all!
• The ACG parataxonomists for
collecting, rearing and
databasing ACG insects.
• ALL the graduate and
undergraduate students and
volunteers in the Smith Lab for
their enthusiasm, questions,
dedication and love for the
• NSERC Discovery Grant to
Come & work with us!