The importance of phylogenetic scale in tests of Bergmann's and Rapoport's rules: lessons from a clade of South American lizards


CONICET, CRUB-Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Quintral 1250, (8400) S. C. Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentina.
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We tested for the occurrence of Bergmann's rule, the pattern of increasing body size with latitude, and Rapoport's rule, the positive relationship between geographical range size and latitude, in 34 lineages of Liolaemus lizards that occupy arid regions of the Andean foothills. We tested the climatic-variability hypothesis (CVH) by examining the relationship between thermal tolerance breadth and distribution. Each of these analyses was performed varying the level of phylogenetic inclusiveness. Bergmann's rule and the CVH were supported, but Rapoport's rule was not. More variance in the data for Bergmann's rule and the CVH was explained using species belonging to the L. boulengeri series rather than all species, and inclusion of multiple outgroups tended to obscure these macroecological patterns. Evidence for Bergmann's rule and the predicted patterns from the CVH remained after application of phylogenetic comparative methods, indicating a greater role of ecological processes rather than phylogeny in shaping the current species distributions of these lizards.