One of the goals of evolutionary biology is understanding how biological diversification change across spatial and temporal scales. Theoretically, it has been established that external (i.e., dispersals) and internal (i.e., origin of a key innovations) factors can modulate shifts in rates of species diversification. However, the role of historical events as trigger of species diversification rates have not been well understood in empirical studies. I reviewed the literature linking historical biogeographic events and species diversification in many groups. Many of studies conclude that dispersals can be associated with exceptional changes in species diversification rates in insular and mainland areas. I discuss the limitations of some approaches used to discover the link between historical biogeography and macroevolution. I propose some predictions under biogeographic scenarios to gain understanding in how historical events promote biological diversification. I suggest that future studies linking biogeography and macroevolution should incorporate ecologically-relevant traits to discern the mechanisms underlying these historical associations. Although new developments in phylogenetic comparative methods have been done, still is necessary more traditional field-based ecological and evolutionary research. The link between biogeography and diversification still remains narrative and a comprehensive approach is necessary to establish how diversification was triggered by historical events.
Part of the book: Pure and Applied Biogeography