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Do speciation rates drive rates of body size evolution in mammals?
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2009 (English)In: American Naturalist, ISSN 0003-0147, E-ISSN 1537-5323, Vol. 174, no 6, 912-918 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recently, it has been shown with large data sets of extinct mammals that large‐bodied lineages experienced higher speciation and extinction rates; with extant mammals, it has been shown that body size evolution is accelerated during speciation. Therefore, it is interesting to investigate whether mammalian body size evolution is faster in large‐bodied lineages. Phylogenetic analysis assuming size‐independent speciation rates suggested that the rate of body size evolution increases with body size, whereas size differences in recent sister species (that are little affected by species turnover) appear to be independent of size. This supports the hypothesis that high rates of species turnover increase the rate at which interspecific differences accumulate in large‐bodied clades, whereas rates of evolution in single lineages are approximately size invariant. Similarly, these findings support the notion that mammalian body size evolution is indeed concentrated in speciation events.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 174, no 6, 912-918 p.
Keyword [en]
diversification, ecological speciation, extinction, macroevolution, natural selection, punctuated equilibrium
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30403DOI: 10.1086/646606OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-30403DiVA: diva2:282649
Available from: 2009-12-21 Created: 2009-12-21 Last updated: 2011-11-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The tempo and mode of evolution: a neontological reappraisal
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The tempo and mode of evolution: a neontological reappraisal
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The theory of “punctuated equilibrium” suggests that species evolve rapidly during or immediately upon speciation, “punctuating” long periods of little or no morphological evolution. Here I confirm that body size differences within clades of birds and mammals are best explained using a model of punctuated evolution. This allows me to suggest that rates of speciation and extinction are responsible for why there are more small mammals than large, as large mammals likely speciate and go extinct at a higher rate than small mammals, and hence undergo cladogenetic change more often. Likewise, mammals appear to evolve at a higher rate than birds, because mammals, as a whole, speciate and go extinct at a higher rate than birds. Furthermore I show that mass extinctions and competition, i.e. forms of natural selection, do not seem to explain differences in body size between species on a macroevolutionary scale. Taken together, these findings not only contradict the idea that apparently different rates of evolution are due to differential selection intensities, and emphasize the importance of the speciation process in evolution, but raise the intriguing question as to what limits evolution in established species. Here I suggest that phenotypic traits, dependent on one another for development and/or function may constrain evolution by exerting stabilizing selection from within the organism, as opposed to external environmental selection, which has been the main focus of evolutionary studies thus far.

Abstract [sv]

Teorin om "punkterad jämvikt" säger att arter utvecklas snabbt under och omedelbart efter artbildning, vilket "punkterar" långa perioder med lite eller ingen morfologisk föränding. I den här avhandlingen visar jag att skillnader i kroppsstorlek inom klader (grupp med gemensam förfader) hos fåglar och däggdjur förklaras bäst när man använder en modell med punkterad evolution. Detta gör i sin tur att jag kan föreslå att hastigheten var med artbildning och utdöende sker, förklarar varför det finns fler små däggdjur än stora, eftersom stora däggdjur sannolikt bildar nya arter och dör ut med en högre hastighet än små däggdjur. Likaså förefaller däggdjur i sin helhet att evolvera med en högre hastighet än fåglar, detta eftersom däggdjur bildar nya arter och dör ut med en högre hastighet än fåglar. Dessutom visar jag att massutdöenden och konkurrens (naturlig selektion) inte verkar förklara skillnader mellan arter över makroevolutionära skalor (över geologisk tid). Sammantaget motsäger dessa resultat inte bara idén om att skenbart olika hastighet på evolution främst beror på skillnader i selektionstryck utan understryker också vikten av artbildningsprocessen som en viktig faktor som styr evolutionens hastighet. Dessutom leder dessa resultat till frågan om vad som begränsar evolutionen hos redan etablerade arter. Här föreslår jag att fenotypiska karaktärsdrag som är beroende av varandra för sin funktion och utveckling kan begränsa evolutionen genom att utöva stabiliserande selektion inifrån organismen, i motsats till selektion från den omgivande miljön vilket har varit fokus för de flesta evolutionära studier hittills.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap, Umeå Universitet, 2011. 38 p.
Keyword
birds, extinction, macroevolution, mammals, microevolution, punctuated equilibrium, speciation
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-49761 (URN)978-91-7459-306-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-12-09, KBC-huset, KB3A9, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-11-18 Created: 2011-11-17 Last updated: 2011-11-17Bibliographically approved

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Monroe, Melanie J.Bokma, Folmer

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