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Evolutionary stasis and lability in thermal physiology in a group of tropical lizards

Mu�oz, Martha M.; Stimola, Maureen A.; Algar, Adam C.; Cosover, Asa; Rodriguez, Anthony J.; Landestoy, Miguel A.; Bakken, George A.; Losos, Jonathan B.

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Martha M. Mu�oz

Maureen A. Stimola

Adam C. Algar

Asa Cosover

Anthony J. Rodriguez

Miguel A. Landestoy

George A. Bakken

Jonathan B. Losos


Understanding how quickly physiological traits evolve is a topic of great interest, particularly in the context of how organisms can adapt in response to climate warming. Adjustment to novel thermal habitats may occur either through behavioural adjustments, physiological adaptation or both. Here, we test whether rates of evolution differ among physiological traits in the cybotoids, a clade of tropical Anolis lizards distributed in markedly different thermal environments on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. We find that cold tolerance evolves considerably faster than heat tolerance, a difference that results because behavioural thermoregulation more effectively shields these organisms from selection on upper than lower temperature tolerances. Specifically, because lizards in very different environments behaviourally thermoregulate during the day to similar body temperatures, divergent selection on body temperature and heat tolerance is precluded, whereas night-time temperatures can only be partially buffered by behaviour, thereby exposing organisms to selection on cold tolerance. We discuss how exposure to selection on physiology influences divergence among tropical organisms and its implications for adaptive evolutionary response to climate warming. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 2, 2013
Online Publication Date Mar 7, 2014
Publication Date Mar 7, 2014
Deposit Date Jul 15, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jul 15, 2015
Journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Print ISSN 0962-8452
Electronic ISSN 1471-2954
Publisher The Royal Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 281
Issue 1778
Article Number 20132433
Pages 1-9
Public URL
Publisher URL


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