Processes of ecometric patterning: modelling functional traits, environments, and clade dynamics in deep time Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 The Linnean Society of London. Ecometric patterning is community-level sorting of functional traits along environmental gradients that arises historically by geographic sorting, trait evolution, and extinction. We developed a stochastic model to explore how ecometric patterns and clade dynamics emerge from microevolutionary processes. Strong selection, high probability of extirpation, and high heritability led to strong ecometric patterning, but high rates of dispersal and weak selection do not. Phylogenetic structuring arose only when selection intensity, dispersal, and extirpation are all high. Ancestry and environmental geography produced historical effects on patterns of trait evolution and local diversity of species, but ecometric patterns appeared to be largely deterministic. Phylogenetic trait correlations and clade sorting appear to arise more easily in changing environments than static ones. Microevolutionary parameters and historical factors both affect ecometric lag time and thus balance between extinction, adaptation, and geographic reorganization as responses to climate change.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Polly, P. D., Lawing, A. M., Eronen, J. T., & Schnitzler, J.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Polly, P David||Lawing, A Michelle||Eronen, Jussi T||Schnitzler, Jan

publication date

  • May 2016