Data from: The evolution of morphological diversity in continental assemblages of Passerine birds
Jønsson, Knud Andreas; Lessard, Jean Philippe; Ricklefs, Robert E.; Lessard, Jean-Philippe (2015), Data from: The evolution of morphological diversity in continental assemblages of Passerine birds, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.qk461
Understanding geographic variation in the species richness and lineage composition of regional biotas is a long standing goal in ecology. Why do some evolutionary lineages proliferate while others do not, and how do new colonists fit into an established fauna? Here, we analyse the morphological structure of assemblages of passerine birds in four biogeographic regions to examine the relative influence of colonization history and niche-based processes on regional communities of passerine birds. Using morphological traits related to habitat choice, foraging technique and movement, we quantify the morphological spaces occupied by different groups of passerine birds. We quantify morphological overlap between groups by multivariate discriminant analysis and null model analyses of trait dispersion. Finally, we use subclade disparity through time to assess the temporal component of morphological evolution. We find mixed support for the prediction, based on priority, that first colonisers constrain subsequent colonisers. Indeed, our results show that the assembly of regional communities is idiosyncratic with regards to the diversification of new clades and the filling of morphospace.