Publication
Title
Hurricane-induced selection on the morphology of an island lizard
Author
Abstract
Hurricanes are catastrophically destructive. Beyond their toll on human life and livelihoods, hurricanes have tremendous and often long-lasting effects on ecological systems(1-2). Despite many examples of mass mortality events following hurricanes(3-5), hurricane-induced natural selection has not previously been demonstrated. Immediately after we finished a survey of Anolis scriptus-a common, small-bodied lizard found throughout the Turks and Caicos archipelago-our study populations were battered by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Shortly thereafter, we revisited the populations to determine whether morphological traits related to clinging capacity had shifted in the intervening six weeks and found that populations of surviving lizards differed in body size, relative limb length and toepad size from those present before the storm. Our serendipitous study, which to our knowledge is the first to use an immediately before and after comparison(6) to investigate selection caused by hurricanes, demonstrates that hurricanes can induce phenotypic change in a population and strongly implicates natural selection as the cause. In the decades ahead, as extreme climate events are predicted to become more intense and prevalent(7,8), our understanding of evolutionary dynamics needs to incorporate the effects of these potentially severe selective episodes(9-11).
Language
English
Source (journal)
Nature. - London
Publication
London : 2018
ISSN
0028-0836
Volume/pages
560 :7716 (2018) , p. 88-91
ISI
000440552600049
Pubmed ID
30046104
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 07.09.2018
Last edited 20.09.2021
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