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Nature. 2014 Feb 20;506(7488):359-63. doi: 10.1038/nature12874. Epub 2013 Dec 22.

Species coexistence and the dynamics of phenotypic evolution in adaptive radiation.

Author information

1
1] Edward Grey Institute, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK [2].
2
1] Edward Grey Institute, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK [2] Department of Biology, Lund University, Lund, SE-223 62, Sweden [3].
3
1] Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA [2] Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118, USA.
4
1] Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA [2] Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA [3] Department of Ornithology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York 10024, USA.
5
1] Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA [2] Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA.
6
Edward Grey Institute, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK.

Abstract

Interactions between species can promote evolutionary divergence of ecological traits and social signals, a process widely assumed to generate species differences in adaptive radiation. However, an alternative view is that lineages typically interact when relatively old, by which time selection for divergence is weak and potentially exceeded by convergent selection acting on traits mediating interspecific competition. Few studies have tested these contrasting predictions across large radiations, or by controlling for evolutionary time. Thus the role of species interactions in driving broad-scale patterns of trait divergence is unclear. Here we use phylogenetic estimates of divergence times to show that increased trait differences among coexisting lineages of ovenbirds (Furnariidae) are explained by their greater evolutionary age in relation to non-interacting lineages, and that--when these temporal biases are accounted for--the only significant effect of coexistence is convergence in a social signal (song). Our results conflict with the conventional view that coexistence promotes trait divergence among co-occurring organisms at macroevolutionary scales, and instead provide evidence that species interactions can drive phenotypic convergence across entire radiations, a pattern generally concealed by biases in age.

PMID:
24362572
DOI:
10.1038/nature12874
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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