Nowhere to run: the role of habitat openness and refuge use in defining patterns of morphological and performance evolution in tropical lizards

Goodman, B.A. (2009) Nowhere to run: the role of habitat openness and refuge use in defining patterns of morphological and performance evolution in tropical lizards. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 22 (7). pp. 1535-1544.

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Abstract

For species from open habitats with little cover and few refugia, selection should favour morphologies that enhance performance at tasks that enable rapid movement across open areas. Similarly, selection should also favour traits that enable rapid access and movement within suitable refugia. This study examined the relationship between habitat openness, refuge use, morphology and performance of 19 species representing 23 populations of tropical Lygosomine skink. Species from this group occupy a wide array of habitats from open forest and open rocky intertidal zones to high-altitude heaths and dense, closed forests. Species that occupied open habitats were faster at sprinting, climbing and had better cling ability than species from more cluttered, closed habitats. In addition, species from habitats that used rock crevices as refuges had enhanced sprinting ability. This study shows the importance of both habitat openness and refuge type in the evolution of both the morphology and performance in lizards.

Item ID: 7979
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1420-9101
Keywords: adaptation; comparative method; ecomorphology; habitat openness; locomotion; performance; physiological ecology; Scincidae; tropical biology
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2010 04:56
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060303 Biological Adaptation @ 80%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060309 Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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