The Guiana Shield
This chapter describes the geologic, topographic and hydrologic evolution of the Guiana Shield, focusing on suckermouth armored catfishes. It suggests that that the diverse loricariid fauna of the Guiana Shield accumulated gradually over tens of millions of years with major lineages being shaped by geologic evolution across the whole continent, and not as the result of a rapid, geographically restricted adaptive radiation. It shows how diversification was influenced by a restricted number of landscape scale features: especially dispersal and vicariance across several geologically persistent corridors, the expansion and contraction of ranges due to tectonic alterations in prevailing slope, and patterns of local and regional climate change.
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