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The existence and evolution of morphotypes in Anolis lizards: coexistence patterns, not adaptive radiations, distinguish mainland and island faunas.


ABSTRACT: The evolution of distinct ecologies and correlated morphologies ("ecomorphs," in combination) among similar species allows sympatric occupation of diverse microhabitats. Particular ecomorphs may evolve repeatedly, that is, convergently, as separate lineages arrive at similar solutions. Caribbean Anolis lizards (anoles) are a classic ecomorph system, particularly well-studied for the diverse morphotypes resulting from adaptive radiations. But few studies have analyzed the equally species-diverse mainland Anolis. Here, we use clustering analyses of nine traits for 336 species of Anolis to objectively identify morphological groups (morphotypes). We analyze the presence of recovered morphotypes on mainland and islands in general and relative to the composition of 76 mainland and 91 island anole assemblages. We test for evolutionary convergence of morphotypes within and between mainland and island environments by mapping our recovered morphotypes onto recent phylogenetic estimates and by analyzing four of our measured traits using program SURFACE. We find that particular morphotypes tend to be restricted to either mainland or island environments. Morphotype diversity and convergence are not concentrated within either island or mainland environments. Morphotype content of assemblages differs between mainland and island areas, with island assemblages displaying greater numbers of morphotypes than mainland assemblages. Taken with recent research, these results suggest a restructuring of one of the classic adaptive radiation stories and a reconsideration of research concerning island-mainland faunal differences. Island radiations of anoles are unexceptional relative to mainland radiations with regard to species count, rates of speciation and phenotypic evolution, morphotype diversity, and rates of convergence. But local island assemblage appear to be more diverse than mainland assemblages. The explanation for this assemblage disparity may reside in one of the classic hypothesized island-mainland environmental differences (i.e., greater numbers of predators/competitors/environmental complexity on the mainland). Similarity between mainland and island anole radiations may indicate exceptional evolution in the anole clade overall or ordinary evolution in an extraordinarily studied clade.

SUBMITTER: Poe S 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6321754 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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