Are rates of species diversification correlated with rates of morphological evolution?

Dean C. Adams, Chelsea M. Berns, Kenneth H. Kozak, John J Wiens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

157 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Some major evolutionary theories predict a relationship between rates of proliferation of new species (species diversification) and rates of morphological divergence between them. However, this relationship has not been rigorously tested using phylogeny-based approaches. Here, we test this relationship with morphological and phylogenetic data from 190 species of plethodontid salamanders. Surprisingly, we find that rates of species diversification and morphological evolution are not significantly correlated, such that rapid diversification can occur with little morphological change, and vice versa. We also find that most clades have undergone remarkably similar patterns of morphological evolution (despite extensive sympatry) and that those relatively novel phenotypes are not associated with rapid diversification. Finally, we find a strong relationship between rates of size and shape evolution, which has not been previously tested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2729-2738
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume276
Issue number1668
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 7 2009
Externally publishedYes

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Sympatry
Urodela
Phylogeny
Phenotype
phylogeny
salamanders and newts
sympatry
evolutionary theory
phenotype
new species
divergence
phylogenetics
rate
testing

Keywords

  • Diversification
  • Evolution
  • Morphology
  • Phylogeny
  • Salamanders
  • Speciation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Are rates of species diversification correlated with rates of morphological evolution? / Adams, Dean C.; Berns, Chelsea M.; Kozak, Kenneth H.; Wiens, John J.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 276, No. 1668, 07.08.2009, p. 2729-2738.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Adams, Dean C. ; Berns, Chelsea M. ; Kozak, Kenneth H. ; Wiens, John J. / Are rates of species diversification correlated with rates of morphological evolution?. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2009 ; Vol. 276, No. 1668. pp. 2729-2738.
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