Jan 19, 2018

Phylogenetic patterns of trait and trait plasticity evolution: Insights from amphibian embryos

Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Rick A RelyeaJohn I Hammond

Abstract

Environmental variation favors the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. For many species, we understand the costs and benefits of different phenotypes, but we lack a broad understanding of how plastic traits evolve across large clades. Using identical experiments conducted across North America, we examined prey responses to predator cues. We quantified five life-history traits and the magnitude of their plasticity for 23 amphibian species/populations (spanning three families and five genera) when exposed to no cues, crushed-egg cues, and predatory crayfish cues. Embryonic responses varied considerably among species and phylogenetic signal was common among the traits, whereas phylogenetic signal was rare for trait plasticities. Among trait-evolution models, the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck (OU) model provided the best fit or was essentially tied with Brownian motion. Using the best fitting model, evolutionary rates for plasticities were higher than traits for three life-history traits and lower for two. These data suggest that the evolution of life-history traits in amphibian embryos is more constrained by a species' position in the phylogeny than is the evolution of life history plasticities. The fact that an OU model of trait evolution w...Continue Reading

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Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Embryo
Amphibians
Positioning Attribute
Phylogenetic Analysis
Predator
Neuronal Plasticity
Brownian Dynamics
Species
Astacoidea
EAF2

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