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In combination, these data lead to a better understanding of the scenario in which the cold-adapted bumble bees evolved and radiated and provide an example of dispersal patterns among more recently evolving Holarctic and alpine groups.Divergence times, historical biogeography, and diversification statistics were estimated using the phylogeny and data set published in Cameron et al. This data set contains 218 taxa with unique names, including representatives of all 38 subgenera (Williams, 1998).Using dated phylogenies, fluctuations in the rate of diversification can be visualized by plotting the log of the number of lineages accumulating across time (Nee et al., 1992, 1994).Statistics, such the gamma statistic of Pybus and Harvey (2000) and the survival-based models of Paradis (1997) have been developed to test whether and how these plots deviate from a constant rate of diversification.Dispersal-vicariance analysis (DIVA) predicted an Old World ancestor, with early diversification events largely restricted to the eastern Old World.The numerous intercontinental dispersal events occurred mostly in the direction of Old World to New World and North America to South America.
has been considered of early Cenozoic origin (Williams, 1985) based on early fossils described under the genus from the Paleocene and Oligocene, but these fossils have since been considered incorrectly or unreliably placed (Engel, 2001; Zeuner and Manning, 1976; Rasnitsyn and Michener, 1991).These analyses reveal movements of concordant with geographic and climatic events of the late Cenozoic.The initial diversification of extant bumble bee lineages was estimated at around 25 to 40 Ma, near the Eocene-Oligocene boundary 34 Ma, a period of dramatic global cooling.species richness is highest in the mountains of central China, is generally high in montane areas or cool temperate latitudes of both the Orient and Palearctic (∼ 175 Old World species), and declines in North America (∼ 60 species) and increasingly in South America (∼ 22 species), particularly outside of mountainous areas (Williams, 1994, 1996, 1998).Bumble bees have been able to recolonize and establish diverse communities across areas depopulated by glaciation events in the last 3 million years, including Scandinavia (∼ 38 species; Løken, 1973, 1984) and Kamchatka (∼ 12 species; Ito and Kuranishi, 2000).
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Lineage-through-time (LTT) plots and their associated statistics have been used to reveal evolutionary associations, such as the simultaneous radiation of ants with the angiosperms (Moreau et al., 2006) and the radiation of leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae: ) during Paleocene/Eocene global warming (Mc Kenna and Farrell, 2006).