Project 1174: C. A. Hipsley, D. B. Miles, J. Mùˆller. 2014. Morphological disparity opposes latitudinal diversity gradient in lacertid lizards. Biology Letters. 10:20140101.
Specimen: Takydromus sexlineatus (unvouchered)
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Abstract

While global variation in taxonomic diversity is strongly linked to latitude, the extent to which morphological disparity follows geographical gradients is less well known. We estimated patterns of lineage diversification, morphological disparity and rates of phenotypic evolution in the Old World lizard family Lacertidae, which displays a nearly inverse latitudinal diversity gradient with decreasing species richness towards the tropics. We found that lacertids exhibit relatively constant rates of lineage accumulation over time, although the majority of morphological variation appears to have originated during recent divergence events, resulting in increased partitioning of disparity within subclades. Among subclades, tropical arboreal taxa exhibited the fastest rates of shape change while temperate European taxa were the slowest, resulting in an inverse relationship between latitudinal diversity and rates of phenotypic evolution. This pattern demonstrates a compelling counterexample to the ecological opportunity theory of diversification, suggesting an uncoupling of the processes generating species diversity and morphological differentiation across spatial scales.


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Article DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0101

Project DOI: 10.7934/P1174, http://dx.doi.org/10.7934/P1174
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MorphoBank Project 1174
  • Creation Date:
    15 April 2014
  • Publication Date:
    01 August 2017
  • Project views: 3407

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    Christy Hipsley
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