We introduce a general approach for investigating the role of geography in speciation, based on analyzing the geography of sister clades across all nodes in a species-level phylogeny. We examine the predictions of allopatric, sympatric, and peripatric models of speciation in several animal groups, using patterns of range overlap and range size symmetry between sister clades. A simple model of cladogenesis incorporating random movements of species' ranges is used to illustrate the effects of range changes on expected patterns. We find evidence for a predominantly allopatric mode of speciation in our study groups, with sympatry arising through postspeciational range changes. In addition, we find that relatively recent speciation events are characterized by greater asymmetry in range size between sister clades than expected under our null models, providing potential support for the peripatric model of speciation. We discuss the possible confounding effects of postspeciational range changes on our conclusions.
Keywords: biogeography; diversity; modes; null models; speciation.