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Coevolution is linked with phenotypic diversification but not speciation in avian brood parasites

Medina, Iliana; Langmore, Naomi

Description

Coevolution is often invoked as an engine of biological diversity. Avian brood parasites and their hosts provide one of the best-known examples of coevolution. Brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other species, selecting for host defences and reciprocal counteradaptations in parasites. In theory, this arms race should promote increased rates of speciation and phenotypic evolution. Here, we use recently developed methods to test whether the three largest avian brood parasitic...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorMedina, Iliana
dc.contributor.authorLangmore, Naomi
dc.date.accessioned2016-06-14T23:20:52Z
dc.identifier.issn0962-8452
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/103593
dc.description.abstractCoevolution is often invoked as an engine of biological diversity. Avian brood parasites and their hosts provide one of the best-known examples of coevolution. Brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other species, selecting for host defences and reciprocal counteradaptations in parasites. In theory, this arms race should promote increased rates of speciation and phenotypic evolution. Here, we use recently developed methods to test whether the three largest avian brood parasitic lineages show changes in rates of phenotypic diversity and speciation relative to non-parasitic lineages. Our results challenge the accepted paradigm, and show that there is little consistent evidence that lineages of brood parasites have higher speciation or extinction rates than non-parasitic species. However, we provide the first evidence that the evolution of brood parasitic behaviour may affect rates of evolution in morphological traits associated with parasitism. Specifically, egg size and the colour and pattern of plumage have evolved up to nine times faster in parasitic than in non-parasitic cuckoos. Moreover, cuckoo clades of parasitic species that are sympatric (and share similar host genera) exhibit higher rates of phenotypic evolution. This supports the idea that competition for hosts may be linked to the high phenotypic diversity found in parasitic cuckoos.
dc.publisherRoyal Society of London
dc.sourceProceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
dc.titleCoevolution is linked with phenotypic diversification but not speciation in avian brood parasites
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume282
dc.date.issued2015
local.identifier.absfor060201 - Behavioural Ecology
local.identifier.ariespublicationU3488905xPUB8504
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationMedina, Iliana, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationLangmore, Naomi, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue20152056
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage8
local.identifier.doi10.1098/rspb.2015.2056
local.identifier.absseo970106 - Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
dc.date.updated2016-06-14T08:53:52Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84951950179
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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