EVOLUTION OF PAEDOMORPHOSIS IN PLETHODONTID SALAMANDERS: ECOLOGICAL CORRELATES AND RE-EVOLUTION OF METAMORPHOSIS
Version of Record online: 16 OCT 2013
© 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 68, Issue 2, pages 466–482, February 2014
How to Cite
Bonett, R. M., Steffen, M. A., Lambert, S. M., Wiens, J. J. and Chippindale, P. T. (2014), EVOLUTION OF PAEDOMORPHOSIS IN PLETHODONTID SALAMANDERS: ECOLOGICAL CORRELATES AND RE-EVOLUTION OF METAMORPHOSIS. Evolution, 68: 466–482. doi: 10.1111/evo.12274
- Issue online: 28 JAN 2014
- Version of Record online: 16 OCT 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 17 SEP 2013 03:05AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Received: 22 MAY 2013
- University of Tulsa, an Austin Community Foundation
- National Science Foundation. Grant Numbers: DEB 1050322, DEB 0331747, DEB 0129242
- life history;
Life-history modes can profoundly impact the biology of a species, and a classic example is the dichotomy between metamorphic (biphasic) and paedomorphic (permanently aquatic) life-history strategies in salamanders. However, despite centuries of research on this system, several basic questions about the evolution of paedomorphosis in salamanders have not been addressed. Here, we use a nearly comprehensive, time-calibrated phylogeny of spelerpine plethodontids to reconstruct the evolution of paedomorphosis and to test if paedomorphosis is (1) reversible; (2) associated with living in caves; (3) associated with relatively dry climatic conditions on the surface; and (4) correlated with limited range size and geographic dispersal. We find that paedomorphosis arose multiple times in spelerpines. We also find evidence for re-evolution of metamorphosis after several million years of paedomorphosis in a lineage of Eurycea from the Edwards Plateau region of Texas. We also show for the first time using phylogenetic comparative methods that paedomorphosis is highly correlated with cave-dwelling, arid surface environments, and small geographic range sizes, providing insights into both the causes and consequences of this major life history transition.