Evolution, Biogeography and Conservation
The combination of stenotopic
substratum preferences, associated ecomorphological adaptations for
life on specific substrata, and a sedentary lifestyle, has several
implications for the evolution and biogeography of vaejovids:
It suggests that the same or
similar ecomorphological adaptations could have evolved
convergently in distantly related species that inhabit the same
or similar substrata.
It suggests that species with
specific substratum preferences should be narrowly endemic to
geographical regions with suitable substrata and that vicariance
of the populations inhabiting these regions, followed by
speciation, might have been induced through disruption of those
substrata (Prendini 2001).
For these reasons, vaejovids
represent an appropriate model for testing adaptational and
biogeographical hypotheses, including the evolution of
ecomorphotypes and the historical biogeography of the American
southwest deserts. A revision and phylogenetic analysis of the
vaejovid radiation will enhance not only our understanding of
diversity and biogeography in the arid zone of southwestern North
America, but of the evolution and speciation of arid-adapted
arthropods in general.
L. 2001. Substratum specialization and speciation in southern African
scorpions: The Effect Hypothesis revisited. In: Fet, V. & Selden,
P.A. (Eds.) Scorpions 2001. In Memoriam Gary A. Polis.
British Arachnological Society, Burnham Beeches, Bucks, UK, 113–138.
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