Publication
Title
Convergent evolution associated with habitat decouples phenotype from phylogeny in a clade of lizards
Author
Abstract
Convergent evolution can explain similarity in morphology between species, due to selection on a fitness-enhancing phenotype in response to local environmental conditions. As selective pressures on body morphology may be strong, these have confounded our understanding of the evolutionary relationships between species. Within the speciose African radiation of lacertid lizards (Eremiadini), some species occupy a narrow habitat range (e. g. open habitat, cluttered habitat, strictly rupicolous, or strictly psammophilic), which may exert strong selective pressures on lizard body morphology. Here we show that the overall body plan is unrelated to shared ancestry in the African radiation of Eremiadini, but is instead coupled to habitat use. Comprehensive Bayesian and likelihood phylogenies using multiple representatives from all genera (2 nuclear, 2 mitochondrial markers) show that morphologically convergent species thought to represent sister taxa within the same genus are distantly related evolutionary lineages (Ichnotropis squamulosa and Ichnotropis spp.; Australolacerta rupicola and A. australis). Hierarchical clustering and multivariate analysis of morphological characters suggest that body, and head, width and height (stockiness), all of which are ecologically relevant with respect to movement through habitat, are similar between the genetically distant species. Our data show that convergence in morphology, due to adaptation to similar environments, has confounded the assignment of species leading to misidentification of the taxonomic position of I. squamulosa and the Australolacerta species.
Language
English
Source (journal)
PLoS ONE
Publication
2012
ISSN
1932-6203
Volume/pages
7:12(2012), p. 1-9
Article Reference
e51636
ISI
000313236200152
Medium
E-only publicatie
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 20.09.2013
Last edited 21.11.2017
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