RATES OF MORPHOLOGICAL EVOLUTION ARE CORRELATED WITH SPECIES RICHNESS IN SALAMANDERS
Article first published online: 3 FEB 2012
© 2012 The Author(s). Evolution © 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 66, Issue 6, pages 1807–1818, June 2012
How to Cite
Rabosky, D. L. and Adams, D. C. (2012), RATES OF MORPHOLOGICAL EVOLUTION ARE CORRELATED WITH SPECIES RICHNESS IN SALAMANDERS. Evolution, 66: 1807–1818. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01557.x
- Issue published online: 1 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 3 FEB 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 29 DEC 2011 01:30PM EST
- Received July 26, 2011, Accepted November 24, 2011, Data Archived: Dryad doi:10.5061/dryad.vt41c78j
- Adaptive radiation;
- morphological evolution;
The tempo and mode of species diversification and phenotypic evolution vary widely across the tree of life, yet the relationship between these processes is poorly known. Previous tests of the relationship between rates of phenotypic evolution and rates of species diversification have assumed that species richness increases continuously through time. If this assumption is violated, simple phylogenetic estimates of net diversification rate may bear no relationship to processes that influence the distribution of species richness among clades. Here, we demonstrate that the variation in species richness among plethodontid salamander clades is unlikely to have resulted from simple time-dependent processes, leading to fundamentally different conclusions about the relationship between rates of phenotypic evolution and species diversification. Morphological evolutionary rates of both size and shape evolution are correlated with clade species richness, but are uncorrelated with simple estimators of net diversification that assume constancy of rates through time. This coupling between species diversification and phenotypic evolution is consistent with the hypothesis that clades with high rates of morphological trait evolution may diversify more than clades with low rates. Our results indicate that assumptions about underlying processes of diversity regulation have important consequences for interpreting macroevolutionary patterns.