The landscape of the American tropics has been continuously modified during the last 50 million years, and creation of barriers and connections has shaped the wildlife occupying the region. This study explores the role that the forming of the Andes played in the evolution and diversification of Pristimantis frogs. Using DNA sequencing and GBIF-mediated occurrences, researchers have produced a new phylogenetic tree and reconstructed ancestral ranges for the genus. Their results pinpoint the middle elevation band in the northwestern Andes as a hotspot for the origin and radiation of Pristimantis, and suggest that the paleogeological changes there acted as the main driver of speciation in the genus.
Mendoza, Á. M., Ospina, O. E., Cárdenas-Henao, H., & García-R, J. C. (2015). A likelihood inference of historical biogeography in the world’s most diverse terrestrial vertebrate genus: Diversification of direct-developing frogs (Craugastoridae: Pristimantis) across the Neotropics. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 85, 50–58. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2015.02.001