Phylogenetic diversity, types of endemism and the evolutionary history of New World bats

Published online: 
8 March 2018

Camilo López-Aguirre, Suzanne J. Hand, Shawn W. Laffan, Michael Archer

New World bats represent over one third of global bat species and encompass the widest adaptive radiation among bats. Modern bat diversity in the Americas resulted from a mixture of migrations and colonisations of different taxa throughout the Cenozoic. Traditionally, these taxa are conceived as either South or North American, based on the location of their centres of diversification. To better understand the spatial and temporal processes behind modern biogeographic patterns of New World bat fauna, we investigated phylogenetic diversity (PD) and endemism (PE) for 325 American bat species using distribution maps and a species-level phylogenetic supertree of bats. Randomisation tests were used to evaluate the statistical significance of our results, and to derive a categorical analysis of neo- and palaeo-endemism (CANAPE) to deconstruct significant endemism into its different components. PD and PE showed different patterns than those previously reported for New World bats based on traditional measures of diversity. We found multiple centres of significant endemism across the New World for most bat families, extending the hypothesis of dual centres of diversification, previously proposed for Emballonuridae, Phyllostomidae and Mormoopidae, to Molossidae and Vespertilionidae. Our results indicate that Central America and southern North America played important roles in the diversification of New World bats, as did the Andes in the diversification of Vespertilionidae in South America.

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