Data from: Global phylogenetic structure of the hyperdiverse ant genus Pheidole reveals the repeated evolution of macroecological patterns
Economo, Evan P. et al. (2014), Data from: Global phylogenetic structure of the hyperdiverse ant genus Pheidole reveals the repeated evolution of macroecological patterns, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.jk636
Adaptive radiations are of particular interest owing to what they reveal about the ecological and evolutionary regulation of biodiversity. This applies to localized island radiations such as Darwin's finches, and also to rapid radiations occurring on a global scale. Here we analyse the macroevolution and macroecology of Pheidole, a famously hyperdiverse and ecologically dominant ant genus. We generate and analyse four novel datasets: (i) a robust global phylogeny including 285 Pheidole species, (ii) a global database on regional Pheidole richness in 365 political areas summarizing over 97 000 individual records from more than 6500 studies, (iii) a global database of Pheidole richness from 3796 local communities and (iv) a database of Pheidole body sizes across species. Analysis of the potential climate drivers of richness revealed that the patterns are statistically very similar across different biogeographic regions, with both regional and local richness associated with the same coefficients of temperature and precipitation. This similarity occurs even though phylogenetic analysis shows that Pheidole reached dominance in communities through serial localized radiations into different biomes within different continents and islands. Pheidole body size distributions have likewise converged across geographical regions. We propose these cases of convergence indicate that the global radiation of Pheidole is structured by deterministic factors regulating diversification and diversity.