The measure of success: geographic isolation promotes diversification in Pachydactylus geckos

Show simple item record Heinicke, Matthew P Jackman, Todd R Bauer, Aaron M 2017-01-15T04:12:21Z 2017-01-15T04:12:21Z 2017-01-11
dc.identifier.citation BMC Evolutionary Biology. 2017 Jan 11;17(1):9
dc.description.abstract Abstract Background Geckos of the genus Pachydactylus and their close relatives comprise the most species-rich clade of lizards in sub-Saharan Africa. Many explanations have been offered to explain species richness patterns of clades. In the Pachydactylus group, one possible explanation is a history of diversification via geographic isolation. If geographic isolation has played a key role in facilitating diversification, then we expect species in more species-rich subclades to have smaller ranges than species in less diverse subclades. We also expect traits promoting geographic isolation to be correlated with small geographic ranges. In order to test these expectations, we performed phylogenetic analyses and tested for correlations among body size, habitat choice, range sizes, and diversification rates in the Pachydactylus group. Results Both body size and habitat use are inferred to have shifted multiple times across the phylogeny of the Pachydactylus group, with large size and generalist habitat use being ancestral for the group. Geographic range size is correlated with both of these traits. Small-bodied species have more restricted ranges than large-bodied species, and rock-dwelling species have more restricted ranges than either terrestrial or generalist species. Rock-dwelling and small body size are also associated with higher rates of diversification, and subclades retaining ancestral conditions for these traits are less species rich than subclades in which shifts to small body size and rocky habitat use have occurred. The phylogeny also illustrates inadequacies of the current taxonomy of the group. Conclusions The results are consistent with a model in which lineages more likely to become geographically isolated diversify to a greater extent, although some patterns also resemble those expected of an adaptive radiation in which ecological divergence acts as a driver of speciation. Therefore, the Pachydactylus group may represent an intermediate between clades in which radiation is adaptive versus those in which it is non-adaptive.
dc.title The measure of success: geographic isolation promotes diversification in Pachydactylus geckos
dc.type Journal Article
dc.language.rfc3066 en
dc.rights.holder The Author(s). 2017-01-15T04:12:23Z
dc.owningcollname Interdisciplinary and Peer-Reviewed
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