Understanding morphological evolution in plethdontid salamanders: micro- and macroevolutionary perspectives
Dean Adams, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Department of Statistics, Iowa State University, USA
Vendredi 16 octobre 2015 à 11 heures, amphi Billet
A major goal in evolutionary biology is to determine how selective forces drive phenotypic evolution and adaptation. Realizing this goal demands a multi-faceted approach, where ecological processes (species interactions, environmental shifts, etc.) are examined at hierarchical timescales to test evolutionary hypotheses concerning their effects on phenotypic diversification. In this talk, I describe our efforts to decipher trends of morphological evolution in plethodontid salamanders. I first describe how species interactions and adaptation to the local environment affect morphology at microevolutionary timescales in plethodontids, and across multiple, biogeographic communities. I then describe some macroevolutionary predictions that emerge from contemporary patterns, and empirically evaluate these predictions using newly developed phylogenetic comparative methods. Together, these micro- and macroevolutionary patterns provide new insights into how and why phenotypic diversity evolves, and in what context we may expect to see consilience between micro- and macroevolutionary patterns of diversification. The analytical challenges of implementing this research paradigm with high-dimensional multivariate data, and their mathematical solutions, will also be discussed.