A new preprint out of the lab tests the predictions of a climate-driven model of vicariant speciation (the “species-pump” model) across the Philippine Islands. After the better part of a decade, we finally have the data and method necessary to robustly test the predictions of this model. We collected comparative genomic (RADseq) data from 16 pairs of Gekko and Cyrtodactylus populations and analyzed these data with our new full-likelihood Bayesian comparative biogeographic method, ecoevolity.
Our results support independent divergence times across the gekkonid taxa, not temporally clustered divergences as predicted by the species-pump model. We need to collect genomic data from more taxa across the islands to “rule out” the species-pump model, but these results demonstrate that diversification is much more dynamic across the archipelago than assumed by the often-invoked paradigm of Pleistocene vicariant diversification.