Short-term Visitor

Divergence on multiple niche axes during adaptive radiation: an evolutionary metacommunity simulation model

PI(s): Travis Ingram (University of British Columbia)
Start Date: 29-Jun-2009
End Date: 24-Jul-2009
Keywords: adaptive radiation, speciation, empirical studies

During my time at NESCent I will develop a model of adaptive radiation in which divergence occurs along multiple ecological axes. The model will simulate an evolving metacommunity, with divergence along a spatial environmental gradient (a beta-niche axis) as well as on a local resource (alpha-niche) axis. I will simulate the filling of niche space under scenarios favoring speciation along the alpha- or beta-niche axis. My goal is to identify patterns that either scenario leaves in the distribution of trait values across the resulting phylogenetic tree. Once I have identified such patterns, I will develop new analyses to evaluate whether divergence on alpha- or beta-niche axes is more common in adaptive radiations. I will apply these methods to my empirical study system - the rockfish genus Sebastes - and make the resulting tools available for other researchers to apply to a variety of systems where speciation may occur along one or more niche axes.

Related products