Composition of a chemical signalling trait varies with phylogeny and precipitation across an Australian lizard radiation

Zozaya, Stephen M., Teasdale, Luisa C., Moritz, Craig, Higgie, Megan, and Hoskin, Conrad J. (2022) Composition of a chemical signalling trait varies with phylogeny and precipitation across an Australian lizard radiation. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 35 (7). pp. 919-933.

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The environment presents challenges to the transmission and detection of animal signalling systems, resulting in selective pressures that can drive signal divergence amongst populations in disparate environments. For chemical signals, climate is a potentially important selective force because factors such as temperature and moisture influence the persistence and detection of chemicals. We investigated an Australian lizard radiation (Heteronotia) to explore relationships between a sexually dimorphic chemical signalling trait (epidermal pore secretions) and two key climate variables: temperature and precipitation. We reconstructed the phylogeny of Heteronotia with exon capture phylogenomics, estimated phylogenetic signal in amongst-lineage chemical variation and assessed how chemical composition relates to temperature and precipitation using multivariate phylogenetic regressions. High estimates of phylogenetic signal indicate that the composition of epidermal pore secretions varies amongst lineages in a manner consistent with Brownian motion, although there are deviations to this, with stark divergences coinciding with two phylogenetic splits. Accounting for phylogenetic non-independence, we found that amongst-lineage chemical variation is associated with geographic variation in precipitation but not temperature. This contrasts somewhat with previous lizard studies, which have generally found an association between temperature and chemical composition. Our results suggest that geographic variation in precipitation can affect the evolution of chemical signalling traits, possibly influencing patterns of divergence amongst lineages and species.

Item ID: 75126
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1420-9101
Keywords: chemical signal, climate, lizard, multivariate phylogenetic regression, mvGLS, pheromone
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Society for Evolutionary Biology. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Research Data:
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2022 08:10
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310410 Phylogeny and comparative analysis @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180606 Terrestrial biodiversity @ 50%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 50%
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