Evol Ecol Res 6: 359-376 (2004)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Comparative analysis of range sizes in Helicidae s.l. (Pulmonata, Gastropoda)

Markus Pfenninger*

Abteilung Ökologie und Evolution, Zoologisches Institut der J.W. Goethe-Universität, Bio-Campus Siesmayerstraße, D-60054 Frankfurt/Main, Germany

e-mail: pfenninger@zoology.uni-frankfurt.de


I analysed the importance of shell size, shell shape, habitat preferences and availability, experienced climate, active dispersal and influence of Pleistocene glaciations for the range sizes of 37 Western Palaearctic Helicidae s.l. species for which a phylogeny was available. In both cross-species and phylogenetically controlled analyses, the range sizes were positively correlated to climatic tolerance, shell size, active dispersal and influence of Pleistocene glaciations. In addition, range sizes increased significantly with latitude. Multiple regression suggested that, predominantly, the influence of Pleistocene glaciations, tolerance to large annual temperature ranges and shell size influenced the distributional range sizes. Habitat preference, range and availability, active dispersal and shell shape explained no additional variance. The results suggest that the processes influencing species range size of the Helicidae s.l. are mainly related to the climatic shifts after the Pleistocene.

Keywords: land snails, macroecology, Rapoport effect.

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