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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2018 Oct;127:146-155. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.05.026. Epub 2018 May 24.

Early Cretaceous greenhouse pumped higher taxa diversification in spiders.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.
2
Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China. Electronic address: lisq@ioz.ac.cn.

Abstract

The Cretaceous experienced one of the most remarkable greenhouse periods in geological history. During this time, ecosystem reorganization significantly impacted the diversification of many groups of organisms. The rise of angiosperms marked a major biome turnover. Notwithstanding, relatively little remains known about how the Cretaceous global ecosystem impacted the evolution of spiders, which constitute one of the most abundant groups of predators. Herein, we evaluate the transcriptomes of 91 taxa representing more than half of the spider families. We add 23 newly sequenced taxa to the existing database to obtain a robust phylogenomic assessment. Phylogenetic reconstructions using different datasets and methods obtain novel placements of some groups, especially in the Synspermiata and the group having a retrolateral tibial apophysis (RTA). Molecular analyses indicate an expansion of the RTA clade at the Early Cretaceous with a hunting predatory strategy shift. Fossil analyses show a 7-fold increase of diversification rate at the same period, but this likely owes to the first occurrence of spiders in amber deposit. Additional analyses of fossil abundance show an accumulation of spider lineages in the Early Cretaceous. We speculate that the establishment of a warm greenhouse climate pumped the diversification of spiders, in particular among webless forms tracking the abundance of insect prey. Our study offers a new pathway for future investigations of spider phylogeny and diversification.

KEYWORDS:

Angiosperm; Araneae; Diversification; Fossil spider; Phylogenomics

PMID:
29803949
DOI:
10.1016/j.ympev.2018.05.026
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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