Limits to species distribution

Distribution of suitable habitat for North American Arabidopsis lyrata. The distribution of the species (populations indicated by black dots) is limited in south and north by the occurrence of suitable habitat (by Julie Lee-Yaw)

 

 

Limits to species distribution; limits to the evolution of the ecological niche

Pretty much all organisms have restricted geographic distributions. What are the main factors that restrict distributions? What prevents a species from extending its ecological niche and occupying a larger geographic range? We are currently focusing on some of the possible explanations for distribution limits, including the shape of environmental clines, small population size and genetic architecture of key traits.


Projects of Julie Lee-Yaw, Yvonne Willi

 

Publications

Paccard A, Van Buskirk J, Willi Y (2015) Quantitative genetic architecture at latitudinal range boundaries: reduced variation but higher trait independence. American Naturalist, in press


Griffin PC, Willi Y (2014) Evolutionary shifts to self-fertilization restricted to geographic range margins in North American Arabidopsis lyrata. Ecology Letters 17:484–490