Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)

Environmental temperatures shape thermal physiology as well as diversification and genome-wide substitution rates in lizards

Garcia-Porta, Joan; Irisarri, Iker ORCID; Kirchner, Martin; Rodríguez, Ariel ORCID; Kirchhof, Sebastian; Brown, Jason L.; MacLeod, Amy; Turner, Alexander P; Ahmadzadeh, Faraham; Albaladejo, Gonzalo; Crnobrnja-Isailovic, Jelka; De la Riva, Ignacio; Fawzi, Adnane; Galán, Pedro; Göçmen, Bayram ORCID; Harris, D. James; Jiménez-Robles, Octavio ORCID; Joger, Ulrich; Jovanović Glavaš, Olga; Karış, Mert; Koziel, Giannina; Künzel, Sven; Lyra, Mariana ORCID; Miles, Donald; Nogales, Manuel ORCID; Oğuz, Mehmet Anıl; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Rancilhac, Loïs; Rodríguez, Noemí; Rodríguez Concepción, Benza; Sanchez, Eugenia; Salvi, Daniele ORCID; Slimani, Tahar; S'khifa, Abderrahim ORCID; Qashqaei, Ali Turk; Žagar, Anamarija; Lemmon, Alan ORCID; Moriarty Lemmon, Emily ORCID; Carretero, Miguel Angel; Carranza, Salvador; Philippe, Hervé; Sinervo, Barry ORCID; Müller, Johannes; Vences, Miguel ORCID; Wollenberg Valero, Katharina C. ORCID

Climatic conditions changing over time and space shape the evolution of organisms at multiple levels, including temperate lizards in the family Lacertidae. Here we reconstruct a dated phylogenetic tree of 262 lacertid species based on a supermatrix relying on novel phylogenomic datasets and fossil calibrations. Diversification of lacertids was accompanied by an increasing disparity among occupied bioclimatic niches, especially in the last 10 Ma, during a period of progressive global cooling. Temperate species also underwent a genome-wide slowdown in molecular substitution rates compared to tropical and desert-adapted lacertids. Evaporative water loss and preferred temperature are correlated with bioclimatic parameters, indicating physiological adaptations to climate. Tropical, but also some populations of cool-adapted species experience maximum temperatures close to their preferred temperatures. We hypothesize these species-specific physiological preferences may constitute a handicap to prevail under rapid global warming, and contribute to explaining local lizard extinctions in cool and humid climates.


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Garcia-Porta, Joan / Irisarri, Iker / Kirchner, Martin / et al: Environmental temperatures shape thermal physiology as well as diversification and genome-wide substitution rates in lizards. 2019.

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