Data from: Interaction between digestive strategy and niche specialization predicts speciation rates across herbivorous mammals
Tran, Lucy A. P. (2015), Data from: Interaction between digestive strategy and niche specialization predicts speciation rates across herbivorous mammals, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2q9d0
Biotic and abiotic factors often are treated as mutually exclusive drivers of diversification processes. In this framework, ecological specialists are expected to have higher speciation rates than generalists if abiotic factors are the primary controls on species diversity but lower rates if biotic interactions are more important. Speciation rate is therefore predicted to positively correlate with ecological specialization in the purely abiotic model but negatively correlate in the biotic model. In this study, I show that the positive relationship between ecological specialization and speciation expected from the purely abiotic model is recovered only when a species-specific trait, digestive strategy, is modeled in the terrestrial, herbivorous mammals (Mammalia). This result suggests a more nuanced model in which the response of specialized lineages to abiotic factors is dependent on a biological trait. I also demonstrate that the effect of digestive strategy on the ecological specialization–speciation rate relationship is not due to a difference in either the degree of ecological specialization or the speciation rate between foregut- and hindgut-fermenting mammals. Together, these findings suggest that a biological trait, alongside historical abiotic events, played an important role in shaping mammal speciation at long temporal and large geographic scales.