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Julián A. Velasco

Julián A. Velasco
Instituto de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y Cambio Climático UNAM

Dr.

About

83
Publications
64,081
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645
Citations
Introduction
Climate change, macroecology, ecological modeling, spatial ecology, biodiversity
Additional affiliations
November 2018 - present
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Position
  • Investigador Asociado Nivel C
February 2017 - November 2018
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Position
  • PostDoc Position
May 2016 - January 2017
Centro Universitario de la Costa, Universidad de Guadalajara
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Climatic niche evolution, Anolis, GIS, climate change, ecological niche modeling, macroecology
Education
August 2011
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Field of study
  • Evolutionary Biology
January 2004 - November 2008
August 1997 - November 2003

Publications

Publications (83)
Article
Full-text available
Chagas disease, caused by the protozoa Trypanosoma cruzi, is an important yet neglected disease that represents a severe public health problem in the Americas. Although the alteration of natural habitats and climate change can favor the establishment of new transmission cycles for T. cruzi, the compound effect of human-modified landscapes and curre...
Article
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Empirical studies have shown that several taxa exhibit a decoupled relationship between lineage species diversification (the balance between speciation and extinction) and phenotypic diversification. This has been recognized by some authors as fundamental evidence for non-adaptive radiation. In the leaf-toed geckos Phyllodactylus of North America,...
Article
Complex physical models are the most advanced tools available for producing realistic simulations of the climate system. However, such levels of realism imply high computational cost and restrictions on their use for policymaking and risk assessment. Two central characteristics of climate change are uncertainty and that it is a dynamic problem in w...
Article
Full-text available
The intersection of macroecology and macroevolution is one of today's most active research in biology. In the last decade, we have witnessed a steady increment of macroecological studies that use metrics attempting to capture macroevolutionary processes to explain present-day biodiversity patterns. Evolutionary explanations of current species richn...
Article
The formation of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB) and Pleistocene climatic fluctuations have been shown to influence the diversification of lineages and species distributed throughout central Mexico. In some taxa, however, evidence of lineage diversification is not easily recognized, as often is the case in reptiles. Here we present a phyloge...
Article
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The cloud forest shows a great diversity of groups and has been considered as centers of high richness and endemism, throughout Asia, Africa and mainly in the Americas. To determine the specific and phylogenetic richness as well as the association in the composition of species of amphibians and reptiles in this environment in Mexico, using database...
Article
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Introduction: Neotropical seasonally dry forest (NSDF) climatic constraints increased endemism, and phylo-genetic niche conservatism in species that are restricted to this biome. NSDF have a large number of endemic Capparaceae taxa, but it is unknown if phylogenetic niche conservatism has played a role in this pattern. Objective: We carried out an...
Article
We attempted to identify the factors influencing size and shape dimorphism between sexes, as well as among populations and species in the Sceloporus scalaris group (Sceloporus aeneus, S. scalaris, S. bicanthalis and S. subniger). Our analysis focused on five morphological characteristics: snout–vent length, head length, head width, forearm length a...
Article
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The spiny lizard genus Sceloporus was described by Wiegmann in 1828, with S. torquatus posteriorly designated as the type species. The taxonomic history of S. torquatus is complicated, as it has been confused with other taxa by numerous authors. Many modern systematics works have been published on Sceloporus , but none have included all five recogn...
Preprint
Complex physical models are the most advanced tools available for producing realistic simulations of the climate system. However, such levels of realism imply high computational cost and restrictions on their use for policymaking and risk assessment. Two central characteristics of climate change are uncertainty and that it is a dynamic problem in w...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence suggests that climate change could drastically reduce Mexico's agricultural productivity with severe socio-ecological consequences. Population growth and the increasing demand of resources will exacerbate these impacts. Focusing on rainfed maize production, we evaluate the socio-ecological risk that municipalities currently face and how cl...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence suggests that climate change could drastically reduce Mexico's agricultural productivity with severe socio-ecological consequences. Population growth and the increasing demand of resources will exacerbate these impacts. Focusing on rainfed maize production, we evaluate the socio-ecological risk that municipalities currently face and how cl...
Article
Continental mountain areas cover <15% of global land surface, yet these regions concentrate >80% of global terrestrial diversity. One prominent hypothesis to explain this pattern proposes that high mountain diversities could be explained by higher diversification rates in regions of high topographic complexity (HTC). While high speciation in mounta...
Article
Full-text available
Aim To develop an updated distribution model and habitat suitability analysis for the Mexican wolf, to inform the recovery efforts in Mexico and the United States. Location Mexico and the southwestern United States. Methods We used an ensemble species distribution modelling (SDM) approach and a spatial analysis combining anthropogenic and ecologi...
Article
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Impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity are a prominent area of research in climate change. However, little is known about the effects of abrupt climate change and climate catastrophes on them. The probability of occurrence of such events is largely unknown but the associated risks could be large enough to influence global climate policy. Amphibians...
Article
Biological invasions are a big concern due to their potential to impact ecosystems, as well as local people. The hippo Hippopotamus amphibius, native to Africa, has invaded extensive areas of the Magdalena River basin (Colombia) over the past decades, and has been considered the largest invasive animal in the world. Here, we propose the use of two...
Article
Aim High levels of species richness in mountains are associated with their hypothetical roles as cradles and/or museums of diversity, but the generality of these roles remains unknown. To fill this gap, we tested these two hypotheses at a global scale and assessed the direct and indirect effects of abiotic regional features on the variation of mont...
Book
En el año 2002, el entonces Centro de Control de Contaminación del Pacífico (CCCP) publicó el libro titulado COMPILACIÓN OCEANOGRÁFICA DE LA CUENCA PACÍFICA COLOMBIANA, lo que sería un referente bibliográfico de vital importancia para la caracterización de las zonas marino-costeras del Pacífico colombiano, abarcando un total de cinco capítulos en t...
Article
Aim The links between taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity and how these vary geographically are key to understanding how historical and contemporary processes have shaped communities at regional and local scales. Here, we evaluate the links between taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity for the amphibians in the Continental...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ecological and evolutionary factors underlying life history trait variation is one of the most interesting topics in biology. Although many studies have evaluated either macroevolutionary or macroecological patterns of life history traits across several taxonomic groups, only few studies have attempted to integrate both dimensions in a single a...
Article
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Extreme climate events such as droughts, cold snaps, and hurricanes can be powerful agents of natural selection, producing acute selective pressures very different from the everyday pressures acting on organisms. However, it remains unknown whether these infrequent but severe disruptions are quickly erased by quotidian selective forces, or whether...
Article
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The increasing demand for goods and services in cities around the world due to a rapidly growing urban population is pushing the socioecological systems that support them to their limits. The complexity of urban socioeconomic and environmental systems and their interactions generate a challenging multidimensional decision problem. In response, gove...
Article
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Body size is one of the most influential traits affecting many ecological and physiological processes across animal and plant taxa. Studies of the environmental factors shaping body size patterns may evaluate either temporal or spatial dimensions. Here, we analyzed body size evolution in the radiation of Anolis lizards across both geographical and...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: The effects of geographic and environmental variables on patterns of genetic and phenotypic differentiation have been thoroughly studied. Ecological speciation involves reproductive isolation due to divergent natural selection that can result in a positive correlation between genetic divergence and adaptive phenotypic divergence (isolation by...
Article
The mechanisms driving phenotypic evolution have been of interest to biologists since Darwin. Ecological release-wherein adaptive evolution occurs following relaxation of constraining selective pressures-and environmental filtering-wherein exaptive traits allow colonization of a new area-have been studied in several insular cases. Anolis lizards, w...
Article
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The occurrence of the invasive Brown anole, Anolis sagrei from the Pacific coast of Mexico is confirmed based on squamation and the use of morphological characters. A PCA was performed to explore the morphological differences between the invasive anole and the native Clouded anole Anolis nebulosus. Some of the potential implications for dry tropica...
Article
Model complexity in ecological niche modelling has been recently considered as an important issue that might affect model performance. New methodological developments have implemented the Akaike information criterion (AIC) to capture model complexity in the Maxent algorithm model. AIC is calculated based on the number of parameters and likelihoods...
Article
Aim We examined the geographical distribution of functional diversity for American amphibians and tested the relationship between functional diversity and environment. We also explored how the functional evenness of life‐history traits varies across biogeographical regions. Location Continental Americas. Methods We performed a trait classificati...
Article
Full-text available
A new species of Anolis lizard from the Andean slopes of southwestern Colombia and northwestern Ecuador, from between 1187 and 2353 m in elevation, is described. The new species can be distinguished from other Anolis in squamation, cranial osteology, hemipenial morphology, and nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. The new species is sister to Anolisaequat...
Article
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Insular systems are usually characterized by have a high species diversity, endemism, and evolutionary uniqueness. Although ecological and evolutionary factors shaping insular diversity and endemism are relatively well established, there is a little understanding about climatic niche dynamics for many insular adaptive radiations. Here, we evaluate...
Article
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The Quimbaya toad, Atelopus quimbaya, is a small bufonid endemic to the Central Andes in Colombia and it is categorized as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature-IUCN-. Here, we report historical sightings and recent extensive surveys conducted by us in three historical localities where the Quimbaya toad was rep...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aim Ecological niche modeling (ENM) is an approach used to estimate species‘ presence given its environmental preferences. Model complexity in ENMs has increasingly gained relevance in the last years. In particular, in Maxent algorithm is captured using the Akaike Information Criteria (AIC) based on the number of parameters and likelihoods of conti...
Article
Full-text available
The Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) was included in the 1973 Endangered Species Act listing of the gray wolf (C. lupus), but then listed separately as a subspecies in 2015. Early accounts of its range included the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico, southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and sometimes western Texas, supported by ecologica...
Article
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Adaptive radiation is a widely recognized pattern of evolution wherein substantial phenotypic change accompanies rapid speciation. Adaptive radiation may be triggered by environmental opportunities resulting from dispersal to new areas or via the evolution of traits, called key innovations, that allow for invasion of new niches. Species sampling is...
Article
Full-text available
The intersection of macroecology and macroevolution is one of the most active research areas today. Macroecological studies are increasingly using phylogenetic diversification metrics to explore the role of evolutionary processes in shaping present-day patterns of biodiversity. Evolutionary explanations of species richness gradients are key for our...
Article
Understanding the climatic and historical factors shaping species richness is a major goal of ecology and biogeography. Consensus on how climate affects species richness is still lacking, but four potential and non-exclusive explanations have emerged: water-energy, where diversity is determined by precipitation and/or temperature; seasonality, wher...
Article
Full-text available
Anolis lizards (anoles) are textbook study organisms in evolution and ecology. Although several topics in evolutionary biology have been elucidated by the study of anoles, progress in some areas has been hampered by limited phylogenetic information on this group. Here we present a phylogenetic analysis of all 379 extant species of Anolis, with new...
Preprint
Full-text available
We evaluated the tempo and mode of climatic niche evolution in the radiation of Caribbean Anolis lizards and the role of climate in shaping their exceptional insular endemism. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, climatic niche data and a calibrated phylogeny, we reconstructed climatic niche dynamics across time and space for Caribbean Anolis li...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation status and priorities of amphibians from the Quindío Department, Colombia We reviewed the conservation status and priorities for amphibians from the Quindío region of Colombia, with the purpose of proposing conservation actions. We modeled the potential distribution of threatened species using the maximum entropy algorithm in MaxEnt an...
Article
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We studied the phylogenetic status, morphological variation, dewlap color variation, and geographic distribution of four poorly known Anolis species nested in the Norops clade, particularly in the A. fuscoauratus group from the Andes of Colombia. In addition, we also describe a nomen nudum species based on morphological and molecular evidence. This...
Article
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IUCN Red Lists have been a valuable tool to prioritize conservation plans in endemic neo-tropical frogs. However, many areas in this region are poorly known in terms of their diversity and endemism. Based on examined museum specimens of the threatened species Pristimantis penelopus we revised its geographic distribution and determined the habitat s...
Article
Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis has been considered by several authors as an extreme of morphological variation within the Caiman crocodilus complex. Here, we evaluate its position in the Caiman crocodilus complex morphospace using morphological traits from head shape. We examined the holotype and seventeen paratypes of Caiman crocodilus apaporiensi...
Article
Aim The aim of this study was to test the link between climatic niche dynamics and species diversification in Anolis on islands and on the mainland. We tested the hypotheses that lineages in warmer climates and with narrow climate niches diversified more than lineages in cold climates and with broad climate niches. We also tested the hypothesis tha...
Article
Full-text available
we observed a parrot snake predating an individual of bush anole. Furthermore, we report the first record of Polychrus gutturosus from Gorgona Island
Article
We report the first records of Anolis ventrimaculatus for Ecuador based on twelve specimens from three localities: Chical (Provincia Carchi), El Cristal (Provincia Esmeraldas), and Lita (Provincia Imbabura). The locality in the Provincia Carchi lies approximately 16 km S from the nearest record (Ñambí, Department Nariño, Colombia). We also present...
Article
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We describe the diet of Andinobates bombetes (Myers and Daly, 1980) based on stomach contents taken from sixty-nine individuals from three localities in the central northwestern Colombian Andes. 1471 individual prey items were found in the stomach contents from 16 taxonomic groups: arthropods (14), crustaceans (1) and mollusks (1). Taxonomic groups...
Article
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We describe a new species of Anolis from the Magdalena river valley in Colombia. The new species is morphologically similar to Anolis ibanezi and A. chocorum, but differs in body and dewlap color, and head scalation. We performed an exploratory multivariate analysis based on 15 morphological characteristics of the new species and A chocorum and fou...
Article
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Glassfrogs (family Centrolenidae) are a charismatic group that currently contains about 149 species biogeographically restricted to the Neotropics (Frost 2013). The advertisement call and tadpole has been described for less than 25% glassfrog species, 32 and 35 species respectively (e.g. Marquez et al . 1996; Ospina-Sarria et al . 2011). Centrolene...
Book
Full-text available
La cotorra montañera (Hapalopsittaca amazonina) es una especie que habita exclusivamente en los Andes de Colombia y Venezuela, entre los 2200 y 2800 m de altitud. De las tres subespecies reconocidas, dos se encuentran en Colombia, H. a. amazonina y H. a. velezi, en las tres cordilleras andinas. A pesar de su aparente amplio rango de distribución, e...