center for tropical research

Research Project | 2016

Rainforest Biodiversity and Speciation

Region:
Africa (Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast), Australia, South America (Ecuador)

These projects seek to understand the mechanisms important in generating rainforest biodiversity. Results from research on birds in Cameroon and reptiles in Australia strongly suggest that these transition zones, known as ecotones, are an important generator of the biodiversity of the rainforest. These findings have important implications for conservation policies, which to date have focused on the preservation of the rainforest exclusively, effectively seeking to preserve the pattern of biodiversity but not the process that creates it. By taking a multifaceted approach to the study of evolution, we can understand how diverging populations become new species, and take steps to conserve and protect those areas of the tropics that support such evolutionary processes.

With its collaborators, CTR has secured funding to expand this research to include birds, reptiles, small mammals and bats, in-and-around the rainforests of Africa, South America, and Australia. Finally, CTR is working with Senior Scientists at the Jet Propulsion Lab to utilize NASA satellite imagery to assess the degree of ecotone loss worldwide.

rainforest biodiversity and speciation rainforest biodiversity and speciation

Related Publications

Loss of sexual dimporhism is associated with loss of lekking behavior in the green manakin (Xenopipo holochora)

Ribeiro, R. D.; McCormack, J. E.; Álvarez, H. G.; Carrasco, L.; Grether, G. F.; Mena-Olmedo, P.; Sedano, R.; Smith, T. B.; Karubian, J.

Published Work | 2015 | Journal of Avian Biology 46(3), 307–314

Safeguarding biodiversity: what is perceived as working according to the conservation community?

Chapman, C. A.; DeLuycker, A.; Reyna-Hurtado, R. A.; Serio-Silva, J. C.; Smith, T. B.; Strier, K. B.; Goldberg, T. L.

Published Work | 2014 | Oryx 50(2), 302-307

Evolution and conservation of Central African biodiversity: priorities for future research and education in the Congo Basin and Gulf of Guinea

Anthony, N. M.; Atteke, C.; Bruford, M. W.; Dallmeier, F.; Freedman, A.; Hardy, O.; Ibrahim, B.; Jeffery, K. J.; Johnson, M.; Lahm, S. A.; Lepengue, N.; Lowenstein, J. H.; Maisels, F.; Mboumba, J.; Mickala, P.; Morgan, K.; Ntie, S.; Smith, T. B.; Sullivan, J. P.; Verheyen, E.; Gonder, M. K.

Published Work | 2014 | Biotropica 47(1), 6–17

Spatial conservation planning framework for assessing conservation opportunities in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil

Giorgi, A. P.; Rovzar, C.; Davis, K. S.; Fuller, T.; Buermann, W.; Saatchi, S.; Smith, T. B.; Silveira, L. F.; Gillespie, S. W.

Published Work | 2014 | Applied Geography 53, 369–376

Diet selection is related to breeding status in two frugivorous hornbill species of Central Africa

Lamperti, A. M.; French, A. R.; Dierenfeld, E. S.; Fogiel, M. K.; Whitney, K. D.; Stauffer, D. J.; Stouffer, K. M.; Hardesty, B. D.; Clark, C. J.; Poulsen, J. R.; Wang, B.; Smith, T. B.; Parker, V. T.

Published Work | 2014 | Journal of Tropical Ecology 30(4), 273–290

Effects of forest disturbance and habitat loss on avian communities in a Neotropical biodiversity hotspot

Duraes, R.; Carrasco, L.; Smith, T. B.; Karubian, J.

Published Work | 2013 | Biological Conservation 166, 203–211

Pathogen-host associations and predicted range shifts of human Monkeypox in response to climate change in Central Africa

Thomassen, H. A.; Fuller, T. L.; Asefi-Najafabady, S.; Shiplacoff, J. A.; Mulembakani, P. M.; Blumberg, S.; Johnston, S. C.; Kisalu, N. K.; Kinkela, T. L.; Fair, J. N.; Wolfe, N. D.; Shongo, R. L.; LeBreton, M.; Meyer, H.; Wright, L. L.; Muyembe, J.; Buermann, W.; Okitolonda, E.; Hensley, L. E.; Lloyd-Smith, J. O.; Smith, T. B.; Rimoin, A. W.

Published Work | 2013 | PLoS ONE 8(7)

Intraspecific morphological and genetic variation of common species predicts ranges of threatened ones

Fuller, T. L.; Thomassen, H. A.; Peralvo, M.; Wolfgang, B.; Mila, B.; Kieswetter, C. M.; Jarrin-V, P.; Cameron Devitt, S. E.; Mason, E.; Schweizer, R. M.; Schluneggar, J.; Chan, J.; Wang, O.; Schneider, C. J.; Pollinger, J. P.; Saatchi, S.; Graham, C. H.; Wayne, R. K.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2013 | Proceedings of the Royal Society Biology 280(1763)

Speciation on oceanic islands: rapid adaptive divergence vs. cryptic speciation in a Guadalupe Island songbird

Aleixandre, P.; Montoha, J. H.; Borja, M.

Published Work | 2013 | PLoS ONE 8(5)

Predicting bird song from space

Smith, T. B.; Harrigan, R. J.; Kirschel, A. N.; Buermann, W.; Saatchi, S.; Blumstein, D. T.; de Kort, S. R.; Slabbekoorn, H.

Published Work | 2013 | Evolutionary Applications 6(6), 865–874

Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas

Laurance, W. F.; Useche, D. C.; Rendeiro, J.; Kalka, M.; Bradshaw, C. J.; Smith, T. B.; et al.

Published Work | 2012 | Nature 489, 290–294

A trans-Amazonian screening of mtDNA reveals deep intraspecific divergence in forest birds and suggests a vast underestimation of species diversity

Milá, B.; Tavares, E. S.; Saldana, A. M.; Karubian, J.; Smith, T. B.; Baker, A. J.

Published Work | 2012 | PLoS ONE 7(7)

Diversification in Adelomyia hummingbirds follows Andean uplift

Chaves, J. A.; Weir, J. T.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2011 | Molecular Ecology 20(18), 4564–4576

Testing alternative hypotheses for evolutionary diversification in an African songbird: Rainforest refugia versus ecological gradients

Kirschel, A. N.; Slabbekoorn, H.; Blumstein, D. T.; Cohen, R. E.; de Kort, S. R.; Buermann, W.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2011 | Evolution 65(11), 3162–3174

Evolutionary patterns of diversification in the Andean hummingbird genus Adelomyia

Freedman, A. H.; Buermann, W.; Mitchard, E. T.; DeFries, R. S.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2011 | Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 60(2), 207–218

Patterns of divergence in the olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea (Aves: Nectariniidae) across the African rainforest–savanna ecotone

Smith, T. B.; Thomassen, H. A.; Freedman, A. H.; Sehgal, R. N.; Buermann, W.; Saatchi, S.; Pollinger, J.; Milá, B.; Pires, D.; Valkiūnas, G.; Wayne, R. K.

Published Work | 2011 | Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 103(4), 821–835

A cryptic contact zone between divergent mitochondrial DNA lineages in southwestern North America supports past introgressive hybridization in the yellow-rumped warbler complex (Aves: Dendroica coronata)

Milá, B.; Toews, D. P.; Smith, T. B.; Wayne, R. K.

Published Work | 2011 | Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 103(3), 696–706

Comparative avian biodiversity of five mountains in northern Cameroon and Bioko

Larison, B.; Smith, T. B.; Fotso, R.; McNiven, D.

Published Work | 2010 | Ostrich 71, 269–276

Projected changes in elevational distribution and flight performance of montane neotropical hummingbirds in response to climate change

Buermann, W.; Chaves, J. A.; Dudley, R.; Mcguire, J. A.; Smith, T. B.; Altshuler, D. L.

Published Work | 2010 | Global Change Biology 17(4), 1671–1680

Human impacts flatten rainforest-savanna gradient and reduce adaptive diversity in a rainforest bird

Freedman, A. H.; Buermann, W.; Mitchard, E. T.; DeFries, R. S.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | PLoS ONE 5(9)

Spatial modelling and landscape-level approaches for visualizing intra-specific variation

Thomassen, H. A.; Cheviron, Z. A.; Freedman, A. H.; Harrigan, R. J.; Wayne, R. K.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | Molecular Ecology 19(17), 3532–3548

Genomic signals of diversification along ecological gradients in a tropical lizard

Freedman, A. H.; Thomassen, H. A.; Buermann, W.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | Molecular Ecology 19(17), 3773–3788

Modeling environmentally associated morphological and genetic variation in a rainforest bird, and its application to conservation prioritization

Thomassen, H. A.; Buermann, W.; Mila, B.; Graham, C. H.; Cameron, S. E.; Schneider, C. J.; Pollinger, J. P.; Saatchi, S.; Wayne, R. K.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | Evolutionary Applications 3(1), 1–16

Characterization of novel microsatellite loci for Myzomela cardinalis and M. rubrata honeyeaters, and cross-amplification in other species

Thomassen, H. A.; Jones, K. C.; Pollinger, J. P.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2009 | Conservation Genetic Resources 2, 205–208

Birdsong tuned to the environment: green hylia song varies with elevation, tree cover, and noise

Kirschel, A. N.; Blumstein, D. T.; Cohen, R. E.; Buermann, W.; Smith, T. B.; Slabbekoorn, H.

Published Work | 2009 | Behavioral Ecology 29, 1089–1095

Divergence with gene flow and fine-scale phylogeographical structure in the wedge-billed woodcreeper, Glyphorynchus spirurus, a Neotropical rainforest bird

Milá, B.; Wayne, R. K.; Fitze, P.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2009 | Molecular Ecology 18(14), 2979–2995

Character displacement of song and morphology in African tinkerbirds

Kirschel, A. N.; Blumstein, D. T.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2009 | Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106, 8256–8261

The importance of conserving evolutionary processes

Smith, T. B.; Grether, G.

Published Work | 2008

The role of geography and ecology in shaping the phylogeography of the speckled hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys) in Ecuador

Chaves, J. A.; Pollinger, J. P.; Smith, T. B.; LeBuhn, G.

Published Work | 2007 | Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 43(3), 795–807

Nesting biology of the banded ground-cuckoo (Neomorphus radiolosus)

Karubian, J.; Carrasco, L.; Cabrera, D.; Cook, A.; Olivo, J.

Published Work | 2007 | Wilson Journal of Ornithology 119(2), 222–228

Elevational zonation and the phylogenetic relationships of the Henicorhina wood-wrens

Dingle, C.; Lovette, I. J.; Canaday, C.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2006 | The Auk 123(1), 119–134

Evaluating the divergence-with-gene-flow model in natural population: the importance of ecotones in rainforest speciation

Smith, T. B.; Wayne, R. K.; Girman, D.; Bruford, M. W.

Published Work | 2005 | University of Chicago Press: Chicago, Chicago, USA, 148–165

Isolation of polymorphic tetranucleotide microsatellite markers for the masked flowerpiercer Diglossia cyanea

Bardeleben, C.; Gray, M. M.

Published Work | 2005 | Molecular Ecology Notes 5(4), 849–850

Current and historical factors influencing patterns of species richness and turnover of birds in the Gulf of Guinea highlands.

Smith, C. H.; Smith, T. B.; Languy, M.

Published Work | 2005 | Journal of Biogeography 32, 1371–1384

Isolation of polymorphic tetranucleotide microsatellite markers for the wedge-billed woodcreeper Glyphorynchus spirurus

Mila, B.; Bardeleben, C.

Published Work | 2005 | Biology Notes 2005, 5, 844–845

Isolation of polymorphic tetranucleotide microsatellite markers for the streak-necked flycatcher Mionectes striaticollis

Bardeleben, C.; Gray, M. M.

Published Work | 2005 | Molecular Ecology Notes 5(4), 755–756

Putting process on the map: Why ecotones are important for preserving biodiversity

Smith, T. B.; Saatchi, S.; Graham, C.; Slabbekoorn, H.; Spicer, G.

Published Work | 2005 | Phylogeny and Conservation

Testing alternative mechanisms of evolutionary divergence in an African rainforest passerine bird

Smith, T. B.; Calsbeek, R.; Wayne, R. K.; Holder, K. H.; Pires, D.; Bardeleben, C.

Published Work | 2004 | Journal of Evolutionary Biology 18(2), 257–268

Habitat-dependent song divergence in the little greenbul: an analysis of environmental selection pressures on acoustic signals

Slabbekoorn, H.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2002 | Evolution 56(9), 1849–1858

Birdsong and sound transmission: The benefits of reverberations

Slabbekoorn, H.; Ellers, J.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2002 | Condor 104(3), 564–573

[Commentary] Biodiversity hotspots and beyond: the need for preserving environmental transitions

Smith, T. B.; Kark, S.; Schneider, C. J.; Wayne, R. K.; Moritz, C.

Published Work | 2001 | Trends in Ecology and Evolution 16(8), 431

Seasonal variation in the feeding ecology of the grey-cheeked mangabay (Lophecebus albigena) in Cameroon

Poulsen, J. R.; Clark, C. J.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2001 | American Journal of Primatology 54(2), 91–105

Breeding characteristics of the Akohekohe on east Maui

VanGelder, E.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2001 | Studies in Avian Biology 22, 194–201

Refugial isolation vs. ecological gradients: Testing alternative mechanisms of evolutionary divergence in four rainforest vertebrates

Smith, T. B.; Schneider, C. J.; Holder, K.

Published Work | 2001 | Genetica 112, 383–398

Diversification of rainforest faunas: An integrated molecular approach

Moritz, C.; Patton, J.; Schneider, C.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2000 | Annual Reviews of Ecology and Systematics 31, 533–563

A test of alternative models of diversification in tropical rainforest: ecological gradients vs. rainforest refugia

Schneider, C.; Smith, T. B.; Larison, B.; Moritz, C.

Published Work | 1999 | roceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 96(24), 13869–13873

Biotic Surveys of Bioko and Rio Muni, Equatorial Guinea, 1999

Larison, B.; Smith, T.B.; Girman, D.; Stauffer, D.; Mila, B.; Drewes, R.C.; Griswold, C.E.; Vindum, J.V.; Ubick, D., O'Keefe, K.; Nguema, J., Henwood, L.

Progress Report | 1999

Ecology and speciation

Orr, M. R.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 1998 | Trends in Ecology and Evolution 13(12), 502–506

Seed dispersal by Ceratogymna hornbills in the Dja Reserve of Cameroon

Whitney, K.; Fogiel, M.; Lamperti, A.; Holbrook, K.; Stauffer, D.; Hardesty, B.D.; Parker, V.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 1998 | Journal of Tropical Ecology 14(3), 351–371

A role for ecotones in generating rainforest biodiversity

Smith, T. B.; Wayne, R. K.; Girman, D.; Bruford, M. W.

Published Work | 1997 | Science 276(5320), 1855–1857

Faunal Surveys of Selected Montane and Lowland Areas of Cameroon, 1996

Larison, B.; Smith, T.B.; McNiven, D.; Fotso, R.; Bruford, M.; Holbrook, K.; Lamperti, A.

Progress Report | 1996

An overview of the issues

Mace, G.; Smith, T. B.; Bruford, M. W.; Wayne, R. K.

Published Work | 1996 | Molecular Genetic Approaches in Conservation 1-21

The preservation of process: the missing element of conservation programs

Smith, T. B.; Bruford, M. W.; Wayne, R. K.

Published Work | 1993 | Biodiversity Letters 1(6), 164–167