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Neotropical Biodiversity: Hypotheses of Species Diversification and Dispersal in the Andean Mountain Forests

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The Andean Cloud Forest

Abstract

TThe tropical montane cloud forests of the Andes harbor an exceptional species diversity and endemism, which is currently under threat from rapid environmental change. Understanding the patterns and processes behind this diversity is a major challenge. In this chapter, we provide a conceptual synthesis of the driving factors behind the processes that underpin the evolution of species diversity in the montane forest of the Andes. Species richness and endemism are attributed to a mixture of historical, evolutionary, and ecological processes. Some classical hypotheses highlight the relationship between species diversity and spatial structure of the Andean mountains. In contrast, others have focused on the role of physical barriers that arose during the late Eocene and Neogene (uplift of the Andes) and the range shifts caused by climatic and environmental dynamics during the Quaternary period that resulted in a combination of vicariance and dispersal events. Moreover, species tolerances to environmental conditions (especially temperature) can affect species dispersal and facilitate allopatric isolation. However, the role of intrinsic traits and life-history strategies as a driver of Andean diversity is sometimes unclear.

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Acknowledgments

AMMH is supported by the scholarship number CVU416922 from Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT, Mexico), and Posgrado de Ciencias Biológicas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). We thank Nicolas Hazzi for valuable comments.

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Correspondence to Juan C. Garcia-R .

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Mendoza-Henao, A.M., Garcia-R, J.C. (2021). Neotropical Biodiversity: Hypotheses of Species Diversification and Dispersal in the Andean Mountain Forests. In: Myster, R.W. (eds) The Andean Cloud Forest. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-57344-7_9

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