Duration and consistency of historical selection are correlated with adaptive trait evolution in the streamside salamander, ambystoma barbouri
Ambystoma texanum, Conflicting selection, Historical constraint, Local adaptation, Niche evolution, Phylogenetic constraint, Trait evolution
A fundamental challenge in evolutionary biology concerns estimating the extent to which ecological trade-offs may impose constraints on adaptive evolution. Novel ecological stressors may limit adaptive evolution of naive lineages that have experienced historically different selective regimes. Regarded as recently derived from a pond-breeding ancestor, streamside salamanders face the novel and strong selection pressure of breeding in streams with fish predators. A statistical phylogenetic approach was used to test whether adaptive evolution of antipredator performance phenotypes in streamside salamanders was positively associated with: (1) estimated per-lineage duration of coexistence with predatory fish; and (2) consistency of this predator selective-regime within lineages. Average durations of fish contact were computed for each salamander lineage on a set of chronograms. Selection consistency was determined by estimating the number of ecological transitions between fish and fishless states using stochastic character mapping. Historical selection in streamside salamanders can be generally characterized as unstable, apparently punctuated by the stochastic loss and recolonization of predatory fish in most lineages. We found that the efficacy of antipredator phenotypes in salamanders is strongly related to historical duration, as well as consistency, of selection imposed by predatory fish.
Department of Biology
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Eastman, Jonathan M.; Niedzwiecki, John H.; Nadler, B. Paul; and Storfer, Andrew, "Duration and consistency of historical selection are correlated with adaptive trait evolution in the streamside salamander, ambystoma barbouri" (2009). Faculty Publications. 2211.