Data from: The evolution of alternative adaptive strategies for effective communication in noisy environments
Cite this dataset
Ord, Terry J.; Charles, Grace K.; Hofer, Rebecca K. (2010). Data from: The evolution of alternative adaptive strategies for effective communication in noisy environments [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1950
Animals communicating socially are expected to produce signals that are conspicuous within the habitats in which they live. The particular way in which a species adapts to its environment will depend on its ancestral condition and evolutionary history. At this point, it is unclear how properties of the environment and historical factors interact to shape communication. Tropical Anolis lizards advertise territorial ownership using visual displays in habitats where visual motion or ‘noise’ from windblown vegetation poses an acute problem for the detection of display movements. We studied eight Anolis species that live in similar noise environments, but belong to separate island radiations with divergent evolutionary histories. We found that species on Puerto Rico displayed at times when their signals were more likely to be detected by neighboring males and females (during periods of low noise). In contrast, species on Jamaica displayed irrespective of the level of environmental motion, apparently because these species have a display that is effective in a range of viewing conditions. Our findings appear to reflect a case of species originating from different evolutionary starting points evolving different signal strategies for effective communication in noisy environments.