28 Works

Data from: Ring distributions leading to species formation: a global topographic analysis of geographic barriers associated with ring species

William B. Monahan, Ricardo J. Pereira & David B. Wake
BACKGROUND: In the mid 20th Century, Ernst Mayr and Theodosius Dobzhansky championed the significance of circular overlaps or ring species as the perfect demonstration of speciation, yet in over 50 years since only a handful of such taxa are known. We developed a topographic model to evaluate whether the geographic barriers that favor processes leading to ring species are common or rare, and to predict where other candidate ring barriers might be found. RESULTS: Of...

Data from: Museum genomics: low-cost and high-accuracy genetic data from historical specimens

Kevin C. Rowe, Sonal Singhal, Matthew D. MacManes, Julien F. Ayroles, Toni Lyn Morelli, Emily M. Rubidge, Ke Bi & Craig C. Moritz
Natural history collections are unparalleled repositories of geographic and temporal variation in faunal conditions. Molecular studies offer an opportunity to uncover much of this variation; however, genetic studies of historical museum specimens typically rely on extracting highly degraded and chemically modified DNA samples from skins, skulls or other dried samples. Despite this limitation, obtaining short fragments of DNA sequences using traditional PCR amplification of DNA has been the primary method for genetic study of historical...

Data from: Stochastic faunal exchanges drive diversification in widespread Wallacean and Pacific island lizards (Squamata: Scincidae: Lamprolepis smaragdina)

Charles W. Linkem, Rafe M. Brown, Cameron D. Siler, Ben J. Evans, Christopher C. Austin, Djoko T. Iskandar, Arvin C. Diesmos, Jatna Supriatna, Noviar Andayani, Jimmy A. McGuire & Malte Ebach
Aim: Widespread species found in disturbed habitats are often expected to be human commensals. In island systems, this association predicts that dispersal will be mediated by humans. We investigated the biogeographical relationships among populations of a widespread tree skink that inhabits coastal forest and human-cultivated plantations in Southeast Asia. We sought to determine whether populations of the emerald tree skink, Lamprolepis smaragdina, dis- persed via mechanisms that were not human-mediated (‘natural’ dispersal) or whether dispersal...

A tiny new Middle Triassic stem-lepidosauromorph from Germany: implications for the early evolution of lepidosauromorphs and the Vellberg fauna

Gabriela Sobral, Tiago R. Simões & Rainer R. Schoch
The Middle Triassic was a time of major changes in tetrapod faunas worldwide, but the fossil record for this interval is largely obscure for terrestrial faunas. This poses a severe limitation to our understanding on the earliest stages of the diversification of lineages representing some of the most diverse faunas in the world today, such as lepidosauromorphs (e.g., lizards and tuataras). Here, we report a tiny new lepidosauromorph from the Middle Triassic from Vellberg (Germany),...

Data from: Leap-frog dispersal and mitochondrial introgression: phylogenomics and biogeography of Limnonectes fanged frogs in the Lesser Sundas Archipelago of Wallacea

Sean B. Reilly, Alexander L. Stubbs, Benjamin R. Karin, Ke Bi, Evy Arida, Djoko T. Iskandar & Jimmy A. McGuire
Aim: The Lesser Sunda Islands are situated between the Sunda and Sahul Shelves, with a linear arrangement that has functioned as a two-way filter for taxa dispersing between the Asian and Australo-Papuan biogeographic realms. Distributional patterns of many terrestrial vertebrates suggest a stepping-stone model of island colonization. Here we investigate the timing and sequence of island colonization in Asian-origin fanged frogs from the volcanic Sunda Arc islands with the goal of testing the stepping-stone model...

Eye size and investment in frogs and toads correlate with adult habitat, activity pattern and breeding ecology

Kate N. Thomas, David J. Gower, Rayna C. Bell, Matthew K. Fujita, Ryan K. Schott & Jeffrey W. Streicher
Frogs and toads (Amphibia: Anura) display diverse ecologies and behaviours, which are often correlated with visual capacity in other vertebrates. Additionally, anurans exhibit a broad range of relative eye sizes, which have not previously been linked to ecological factors in this group. We measured relative investment in eye size and corneal size for 220 species of anurans representing all 55 currently recognized families and tested whether they were correlated with six natural history traits hypothesized...

Data from: A tight balance between natural selection and gene flow in a southern African arid-zone endemic bird

Ângela Maria Ribeiro, Penn Lloyd & Rauri C. K. Bowie
Gene flow is traditionally thought to be antagonistic to population differentiation and local adaptation. However, recent studies have demonstrated that local adaptation can proceed provided that selection is greater than the homogenising effects of gene flow. We extend these initial studies by combining ecology (climate), phenotype (body size), physiological genetics (oxidative phosphorylation genes) and neutral loci (nuclear microsatellites and introns) to test whether selection can counter-balance gene flow and hence promote local adaptation in a...

Data from: Rates of speciation and morphological evolution are correlated across the largest vertebrate radiation

Daniel L. Rabosky, Francesco Santini, Jonathan Eastman, Stephen A. Smtih, Brian Sidlauskas, Jonathan Chang & Michael E. Alfaro
Several evolutionary theories predict that rates of morphological change should be positively associated with the rate at which new species arise. For example, the theory of punctuated equilibrium proposes that phenotypic change typically occurs in rapid bursts associated with speciation events. However, recent phylogenetic studies have found little evidence linking these processes in nature. Here we demonstrate that rates of species diversification are highly correlated with the rate of body size evolution across the 30,000+...

Data from: Breeding season length and nest mortality drive cryptic life history variation in Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis) breeding across a montane elevation gradient

Katie LaBarbera & Eileen A. Lacey
The manner in which individual life history traits respond to the environment and to each other, and how these traits combine to form overall patterns of life history variation, remains poorly characterized in wild populations. We monitored breeding Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis) across a 700-m elevational range. We compared breeding season length, temporal patterns of breeding activity, adult body size, clutch size, brood size, nestling quality, and nest mortality among elevations. We also compared environmental...

Data from: Synopsis and taxonomic revision of three genera in the snake tribe Sonorini

Christian L. Cox, Alison R. Davis Rabosky, Iris A. Holmes, Jacobo Reyes-Velasco, Corey E. Roelke, Eric N. Smith, Oscar Flores-Villel, Jimmy A. McGuire & Jonathan A. Campbell
Delimiting species is a crucial goal of integrative biology, and yet can be misled by homoplasy and high levels of morphological variation. The snake tribe Sonorini contains three genera that have long confounded taxonomists: Chilomeniscus, Chionactis and Sonora. Dynamic colour evolution in this group, including rampant geographic variation in colour and colour polymorphism, has led to a chaotic taxonomy. We used mitochondrial and high-throughput nuclear data (ddRADseq) and complete taxonomic sampling of each genus to...

Data from: Phylogeny and new taxonomy of the Booted Eagles (Accipitriformes: Aquilinae)

Heather R. L. Lerner, Les Christidis, Anita Gamauf, Carole Griffiths, Elisabeth Haring, Christopher J. Huddleston, Sonia Kabra, Annett Kocum, Meade Krosby, Kirsti Kvaloy, David Mindell, Pamela Rasmussen, Nils Rov, Rachel Wadleigh, Michael Wink & Jan Ove Gjershaug
We present a phylogeny of all booted eagles (38 extant and one extinct species) based on analysis of published sequences from seven loci. We find molecular support for five major clades within the booted eagles: Nisaetus (10 species), Spizaetus (4 species), Clanga (3 species), Hieraaetus (6 species) and Aquila (11 species), requiring generic changes for 14 taxa. Additionally, we recommend that the Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis) and the Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malaiensis) remain in their...

Macroevolutionary patterns of sexual size dimorphism among African tree frogs (Family: Hyperoliidae)

Daniel Portik, David Blackburn & Jimmy McGuire
Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is shaped by multiple selective forces that drive the evolution of sex-specific body size, resulting in male or female-biased SSD. Stronger selection on one sex can result in an allometric body-size scaling relationship consistent with Rensch’s rule or its converse. Anurans (frogs and toads) generally display female-biased SSD, but there is variation across clades and the mechanisms driving the evolution of SSD remain poorly understood. We investigated these topics in a...

Data from: Divergence of thermal physiological traits in terrestrial breeding frogs along a tropical elevational gradient

Rudolf Von May, Alessandro Catenazzi, Ammon Corl, Roy Santa-Cruz, Ana Carolina Carnaval & Craig Moritz
Critical thermal limits are thought to be correlated with the elevational distribution of species living in tropical montane regions, but with upper limits being relatively invariant compared to lower limits. To test this hypothesis, we examined the variation of thermal physiological traits in a group of terrestrial breeding frogs (Craugastoridae) distributed along a tropical elevational gradient. We measured the critical thermal maximum (CTmax; n = 22 species) and critical thermal minimum (CTmin; n = 14...

Data from: Trait evolution, resource specialization and vulnerability to plant extinctions among Antillean hummingbirds

Bo Dalsgaard, Jonathan D. Kennedy, Benno I. Simmons, Andrea C. Baquero, Ana M. Martín González, Allan Timmermann, Pietro K. Maruyama, Jimmy A. McGuire, Jeff Ollerton, William J. Sutherland & Carsten Rahbek
Species traits are thought to predict feeding specialisation and the vulnerability of a species to extinctions of interaction partners, but the context in which a species evolved and currently inhabits may also matter. Notably, the predictive power of traits may require that traits evolved to fit interaction partners. Furthermore, local abiotic and biotic conditions may be important. On islands, for instance, specialised and vulnerable species are predicted to be found mainly in mountains, whereas species...

Data from: Microgeographic socio-genetic structure of an African cooperative breeding passerine revealed: integrating behavioural and genetic data.

Ângela M Ribeiro, Penn Lloyd, Kevin A Feldheim & Rauri C K Bowie
Dispersal can be motivated by multiple factors including sociality. Dispersal behaviour affects population genetic structure that in turn reinforces social organization. We combined observational information with individual-based genetic data in the Karoo scrub-robin, a facultative cooperatively breeding bird, to understand how social bonds within familial groups affect mating patterns, cause sex asymmetry in dispersal behavior and ultimately influence the evolution of dispersal. Our results revealed that males and females do not have symmetrical roles in...

Data from: De novo transcriptomic analyses for non-model organisms: an evaluation of methods across a multi-species data set

Sonal Singhal
High-throughput sequencing (HTS) is revolutionizing biological research by enabling scientists to quickly and cheaply query variation at a genomic scale. Despite the increasing ease of obtaining such data, using these data effectively still poses notable challenges, especially for those working with organisms without a high-quality reference genome. For every stage of analysis – from assembly to annotation to variant discovery – researchers have to distinguish technical artefacts from the biological realities of their data before...

Data from: Reproductive isolation between phylogeographic lineages scales with divergence

Sonal Singhal & Craig Moritz
Phylogeographic studies frequently reveal multiple morphologically cryptic lineages within species. What is not yet clear is whether such lineages represent nascent species or evolutionary ephemera. To address this question, we compare five contact zones, each of which occurs between ecomorphologically cryptic lineages of skinks from the rainforests of the Australian Wet Tropics. Although the contacts probably formed concurrently in response to Holocene expansion from glacial refugia, we estimate that the divergence times (τ) of the...

Data from: Phenotypic integration between claw and toepad traits promotes microhabitat specialization in the Anolis adaptive radiation

Michael L. Yuan, Marvalee H. Wake & Ian J. Wang
The performance of an organism in its environment frequently depends more on its composite phenotype than on individual phenotypic traits. Thus, understanding environmental adaptation requires investigating patterns of covariation across functionally-related traits. The replicated adaptive radiations of Greater Antillean Anolis lizards are characterized by ecological and morphological convergence, thus providing an opportunity to examine the role of multiple phenotypes in microhabitat adaptation. Here, we examine integrated claw and toepad morphological evolution in relation to habitat...

Data from: Evidence for ephemeral ring species formation during the diversification history of Western Fence Lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis)

Nassima Bouzid, James Archie, Roger Anderson, Jared Grummer & Adam Leaché
Divergence is often ephemeral, and populations that diverge in response to regional topographic and climatic factors may not remain reproductively isolated when they come into secondary contact. We investigated the geographic structure and evolutionary history of population divergence within Sceloporus occidentalis (Western Fence Lizards), a habitat generalist with a broad distribution that spans the major biogeographic regions of Western North America. We used double digest RAD sequencing to infer population structure, phylogeny, and demography. Population...

Drivers of change and stability in the gut microbiota of an omnivorous avian migrant exposed to artificial food supplementation

Sasha Pekarsky, Ammon Corl, Sondra Turjeman, Pauline Kamath, Wayne Getz, Bowie Rauri, Yuri Markin & Ran Nathan
Human activities shape resources available to wild animals, impacting diet and likely altering their microbiota and overall health. We examined drivers shaping microbiota profiles of common cranes (Grus grus) in agricultural habitats by comparing gut microbiota and crane movement patterns (GPS-tracking) over three periods of their migratory cycle, and by analyzing the effect of artificially-supplemented food provided as part of a crane-agriculture management program. We sampled fecal droppings in Russia (non-supplemented, pre-migration) and in Israel...

Data from: Comparative multi-locus phylogeography confirms multiple vicariance events in co-distributed rainforest frogs

Rayna C Bell, Jason B MacKenzie, Michael J Hickerson, Krystle L Chavarría, Michael Cunningham, Stephen Williams, Craig Moritz & K. L. Chavarria
Though Pleistocene refugia are frequently cited as drivers of species diversification, comparisons of molecular divergence among sister species typically indicate a continuum of divergence times from the late Miocene, rather than a clear pulse of speciation events at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Community-scale inference methods that explicitly test for multiple vicariance events, and account for differences in ancestral effective population size and gene flow, are well suited for detecting heterogeneity of species’ responses to...

Data from: Testing hypotheses for genealogical discordance in a rainforest lizard

Sonal Singhal & Craig Moritz
Genealogical discordance, or when different genes tell distinct stories although they evolved under a shared history, often emerges from either coalescent stochasticity or introgression. In this study, we present a strong case of mito-nuclear genealogical discordance in the Australian rainforest lizard species complex of Saproscincus basiliscus and S. lewisi. One of the lineages that comprises this complex, the Southern S. basiliscus lineage, is deeply divergent at the mito- chondrial genome but shows markedly less divergence...

Data from: Speciation in Western Scrub-Jays, Haldane’s rule, and genetic clines in secondary contact

Fiona C. Gowen, James M. Maley, Carla Cicero, A. Townsend Peterson, Brant C. Faircloth, T. Caleb Warr & John E. McCormack
Background: Haldane’s Rule, the tendency for the heterogametic sex to show reduced fertility in hybrid crosses, can obscure the signal of gene flow in mtDNA between species where females are heterogametic. Therefore, it is important when studying speciation and species limits in female-heterogametic species like birds to assess the signature of gene flow in the nuclear genome as well. We studied introgression of microsatellites and mtDNA across a secondary contact zone between coastal and interior...

Anuran limbs reflect microhabitat and distal, later-developing bones are more evolutionarily labile

Natasha Stepanova & Molly C. Womack
Tetrapod limbs have been used as a model system to investigate how selective pressures and constraints shape morphological evolution. Anurans have had many independent transitions to various microhabitats, allowing us to dissect how these factors influence limb morphology. Furthermore, anurans provide a unique system to test the generality of developmental constraints proposed in mammals, namely that later-developing limb bones are under less constraint and show more variation. We used micro-computed tomography scans of 236 species...

Data from: Coral snakes predict the evolution of mimicry across New World snakes

Alison R. Davis Rabosky, Christian L. Cox, Daniel L. Rabosky, Pascal O. Title, Iris A. Holmes, Anat Feldman & Jimmy A. McGuire
Batesian mimicry, in which harmless species (mimics) deter predators by deceitfully imitating the warning signals of noxious species (models), generates striking cases of phenotypic convergence that are classic examples of evolution by natural selection. However, mimicry of venomous coral snakes has remained controversial because of unresolved conflict between the predictions of mimicry theory and empirical patterns in the distribution and abundance of snakes. Here we integrate distributional, phenotypic and phylogenetic data across all New World...

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