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Marine Biology

, Volume 156, Issue 9, pp 1917–1928 | Cite as

Latitudinal gradients in species richness for South American Mytilidae and Ostreidae: can alternative hypotheses be evaluated by a correlative approach?

  • Alvar Carranza
  • Omar Defeo
  • Juan Carlos Castilla
  • Thiago Fernando L. V. B. Rangel
Original Paper

Abstract

We tested to what extent mean sea surface temperature, geometric constraints in range size frequency distributions (the mid-domain effect) and geographical coastline distance to the equator are related to species richness of coastal Mytilidae and Ostreidae in the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of South America (excluding islands). The location and magnitude of the peaks in species richness, as well as the shape of the pattern, varied between oceans. Results were not biased by spatial autocorrelation, although strong multicollinearity among predictor variables was detected. However, these regional-extent regression models suggest differences in the causal factors that explain richness gradients of studied bivalves in South American coasts, most likely related to historical events such as the Southeastern Pacific Pleistocene mass extinction of bivalves. Our results reinforced the conclusion that there is no single best explanatory cause for the latitudinal gradient in species richness and showed that the correlative approach is not useful when predictor variables are strongly correlated.

Keywords

Species Richness Bivalve Variance Inflation Factor Pacific Coast Latitudinal Gradient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Financial support to A. C. and O. D. by The Nature Conservancy, The Kabcenell Family Foundation and the project UTF/URU/025/URU (Uruguay) is acknowledged. T. F. L. V. B. R. is supported by a CAPES/Fulbright fellowship. J. C. C. acknowledges support from CASEB, FONDAP, Project 15001-0001. T. Blackburn and D. J. Currie are acknowledged for the valuable comments made on a previous version of this manuscript. Special thanks to L. Ortega (Dirección Nacional de Recursos Acuáticos) F. Scarabino (Museo Nacional de Historia Natural y Antropología, Uruguay), M. Lee and L. Prado (Pontificia Universidad Católica, Chile) that provided invaluable bibliography. A. C. acknowledges Marina and Estela for encouragement and support.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alvar Carranza
    • 1
    • 2
  • Omar Defeo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Juan Carlos Castilla
    • 3
  • Thiago Fernando L. V. B. Rangel
    • 4
  1. 1.UNDECIMARFacultad de CienciasMontevideoUruguay
  2. 2.Dirección Nacional de Recursos AcuáticosMontevideoUruguay
  3. 3.Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Center for Advanced Studies in Ecology and Biodiversity (CASEB)Pontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile
  4. 4.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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