Research Topic

Effects of mountain formation and uplift on biological diversity

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Mountain ranges are widely distributed across the world and have long been seen as triggers of evolutionary diversification. Only with the development of molecular and genetic tools in the last decades, explicit examination of evolutionary diversification processes became possible and this was reflected in ...

Mountain ranges are widely distributed across the world and have long been seen as triggers of evolutionary diversification. Only with the development of molecular and genetic tools in the last decades, explicit examination of evolutionary diversification processes became possible and this was reflected in the increased interest in studying the effects of mountain ranges on biological diversity.

The formation and uplift of mountain ranges constitute one of the major geological phenomena that have long-lasting effects on the evolutionary diversification of living organisms. Through an increase of spatial heterogeneity, the formation and uplift of mountains generate a wide variety of ecologically diverse biotopes. Since mountain ranges can act as both biological corridors and ecological barriers, they directly affect migration between these biotopes and influence the distribution of species. In addition, they have the capacity to alter large-scale patterns of atmospheric circulation and hydrological regimes, causing dramatic changes in the environmental conditions of adjacent regions. Considering these different effects, it is no surprise that the formation of mountain ranges directly affect adaptation and genetic differentiation at both macro- and microevolutionary timescales. Understanding the actual effects of mountain uplift on species diversification is thus a fundamental aspect of the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of organisms at local, regional and global scales, and is required to explain the origins of current biological diversity.

This issue focuses on the study of the patterns and processes of biological diversification in response to the formation and uplift of mountain ranges. It includes a broad spectrum of organisms, geographical settings and temporal/spatial scales at the levels of biological organisation where diversification takes place (species level and beyond). We are particularly interested in accommodating contributions that explore any of the following research topics (but certainly not limited to) in relation to mountain uplift:

Phylogenetics
Biogeography
Phylogeography
Population genetics
Landscape genetics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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