Adaptive radiation is a response to natural selection and ecological opportunity involving diversification of species and associated adaptations. Although evolutionary biologists have long speculated that adaptive radiation is responsible for most of life's diversity, persistent confusion and disagreement over some of its most fundamental questions have prevented it from assuming a central role in explaining the evolution of biological diversity. Today, answers to many of these questions are emerging from a new wave of integrative research that combines phylogenetic trees with a variety of other data and perspectives. In this review, I discuss how modern phylogenetic analyses are central to () defining and diagnosing adaptive radiation, ()identifying the factors underlying the occurrence and scope of adaptive radiation, ()diagnosing predictable patterns of ecological diversification during adaptive radiation, and () reconstructing the history of adaptive radiations.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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