Current address: Evolution and Ecology Research Centre and the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Kensington NSW 2052, Australia.
ADAPTATION AND PLASTICITY OF ANIMAL COMMUNICATION IN FLUCTUATING ENVIRONMENTS
Article first published online: 15 JUN 2010
© 2010 The Author(s). Evolution© 2010 The Society for the Study of Evolution
Volume 64, Issue 11, pages 3134–3148, November 2010
How to Cite
Ord, T. J., Stamps, J. A. and Losos, J. B. (2010), ADAPTATION AND PLASTICITY OF ANIMAL COMMUNICATION IN FLUCTUATING ENVIRONMENTS. Evolution, 64: 3134–3148. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01056.x
- Issue published online: 22 OCT 2010
- Article first published online: 15 JUN 2010
- Received February 1, 2010Accepted May 17, 2010
- Anolis lizard;
- ecological determinism;
- historical contingency;
- reaction norm;
- territorial signal
Adaptations that facilitate the reception of long-range signals under challenging conditions are expected to generate signal diversity when species communicate in different habitats. Although we have a general understanding of how individual communicating animals cope with conditions influencing signal detection, the extent to which plasticity and evolutionary changes in signal characteristics contribute to interspecific differences in signaling behavior is unclear. We quantified the visual displays of free-living lizards and environmental variables known to influence display detection for multiple species from two separate island radiations. We found evidence of both adaptive evolution and adaptive plasticity in display characteristics as a function of environmental conditions, but plasticity accounted for most of the observed differences in display behavior across species. At the same time, prominent differences between the two island radiations existed in aspects of signaling behavior, unrelated to the environment. Past evolutionary events have therefore played an important role in shaping the way lizards adjust their signals to challenges in present-day environments. In addition to showing how plasticity contributes to interspecific differences in communication signals, our findings suggest the vagaries of evolution can in itself lead to signal variation between species.