Climatic stability allows areas of endemism to persist through time

A palaeoclimatic analysis in the Mexican Transition Zone shows two current areas persisting for at least 130,000 years

Data resources used via GBIF : 7,219 species occurrences
Passalus interstitialis
Passalus interstitialis by echame via iNaturalist. Photo licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

Endemic species are geographically restricted to one certain place. When many such species occur in the same area, the phenomenon is called an area of endemism. In the Mexican Transition Zone (MTZ) where the Neartic and Neotropical biogeographical regions meet, several such areas exist, but how stable are they in time?

This study uses ecological niche models based on GBIF-mediated occcurrences of 218 endemic species of beetles and mammals to identify areas of endemism in the MTZ. By transferring the models to three past periods (the Last Glacial Maximum, the mid-Holocene and the Last Interglacial), they demonstrate how two current areas of endemism have persisted throughout the periods.

While the MTZ has been a dynamic and complex region, the study reveals some climatic stability for at least the last 130,000 years, allowing for the permanence of endemic clustering in the region.

Link to original article

Pinilla-Buitrago GE, Escalante T, Gutiérrez-Velázquez A, Reyes-Castillo P and Rojas-Soto OR (2018) Areas of endemism persist through time: A palaeoclimatic analysis in the Mexican Transition Zone. Journal of Biogeography. Wiley 45(4): 952–961. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13172.

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