Research Topic

The Role of Rivers in the Origins, Evolution, Adaptation, and Distribution of Biodiversity

About this Research Topic

Rivers represent ubiquitous landscape features and can potentially affect the origins, evolution, adaptation, and distribution of the biota. Some tropical rivers, particularly those in the Amazon basin, have been associated with the speciation process, either by acting as vicariant barriers or simply serving ...

Rivers represent ubiquitous landscape features and can potentially affect the origins, evolution, adaptation, and distribution of the biota. Some tropical rivers, particularly those in the Amazon basin, have been associated with the speciation process, either by acting as vicariant barriers or simply serving as barriers to dispersal and gene flow. A handful of studies have highlighted that non-Amazonian rivers may also define and bound the geographic distributions of several taxa, suggesting that the riverine effect may not be an exclusive Amazonian phenomenon. Whereas large rivers may represent a barrier for upland species, riparian habitats also provide seasonal habitats to a diverse set of taxa, including many flooded forest specialists. Recent molecular and ecological studies have unveiled novel patterns of differentiation and diversification within river-created habitats.

The main goal of this Research Topic is to offer a forum to present and discuss the most recent advances in the biogeography, ecology, and evolution of river-bounded species. This includes those taxa for which rivers represent physical barriers, but also those that inhabit river-created habitats. We aim to highlight the current and historical role of rivers in the evolutionary process and reveal the different ways that rivers can affect biodiversity. We expect to include studies on a diverse array of taxa, including both single and multi-taxon studies, from different geographic regions. Specific examples include (but are not limited to) manuscripts that:
• Investigate the role of rivers in the speciation process
• Test the riverine barrier hypothesis
• Evaluate the effect of rivers on gene flow and dispersal
• Describe diversity patterns along and across rivers
• Infer speciation patterns in river-created habitats
• Unveil the importance of tropical rivers for biodiversity
• Compare the importance of rivers to biodiversity in tropical, subtropical, and temperate systems


Keywords: riverine barriers, speciation, vicariance, secondary contact, flooded forest, varzea


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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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2021 Manuscript
31 December 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2021 Manuscript
31 December 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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