rspb20182278_si_018.csv (110.55 kB)

SupplementalTable12.csv from Trade-offs direct the evolution of coloration in Galápagos land snails

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posted on 20.12.2018, 03:41 by A. C. Kraemer, C. W. Philip, A. M. Rankin, C. E. Parent
Increasingly, multiple selective factors are recognized as jointly contributing to the evolution of morphology. What is not clear is how these forces vary across communities to promote morphological diversification among related species. In this study of Galápagos endemic snails (genus Naesiotus), we test several hypotheses of colour evolution. We observe mockingbirds (genus Mimus) predating live snails and find that avian predation selects against conspicuous shells. The evolutionary outcome of this selection is a diversity of shell colours across snails of the archipelago, each closely matching local backgrounds. We also find that snails more regularly exposed to the hot, equatorial sun reflect more light than shells of species from shadier habitats, suggesting a role for thermoregulatory constraints directing colour evolution. The signature of thermoregulatory selection is most clear in comparatively young communities (on the youngest islands), while the signature of selection from predators is most evident in older communities (on the older islands). Together, our findings point to a scenario of shifting selective forces along island ontogeny and community maturity that lead to the distribution of snail coloration we observe in Galápagos. Complex selective regimes such as these may have more responsibility for morphological diversity than is currently recognized.


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Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences