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High Rates of Species Accumulation in Animals with Bioluminescent Courtship Displaysuse asterix (*) to get italics
Ellis EA, Oakley TH
One of the great mysteries of evolutionary biology is why closely related lineages accumulate species at different rates. Theory predicts that populations undergoing strong sexual selection will more quickly differentiate because of increased potential for genetic isolation [1-6]. Whether or not these population genetic processes translate to more species at macroevolutionary scales remains contentious [7]. Here we show that lineages with bioluminescent courtship, almost certainly a sexually selected trait, have more species and faster rates of species accumulation than their non-luminous relatives. In each of ten distantly related animal lineages from insects, crustaceans, annelid worms, and fishes, we find more species in lineages with bioluminescent courtship compared to their sister groups. Furthermore, we find under a Yule model that lineages with bioluminescent courtship displays have significantly higher rates of species accumulation compared to a larger clade that includes them plus non-luminous relatives. In contrast, we do not find more species or higher rates in lineages that use bioluminescence for defense, a function presumably not under sexual selection. These results document an association between the origin of bioluminescent courtship and increased accumulation of species, supporting theory predicting sexual selection increases rates of speciation at macroevolutionary scales to influence global patterns of biodiversity.
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Adaptation, Evolutionary Ecology, Sexual Selection, Speciation
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2016-12-14 19:01:59
Astrid Groot