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Data from: Does adaptive radiation of a host lineage promote ecological diversity of its bacterial communities? A test using gut microbiota of Anolis lizards

Citation

Ren, Tiantian; Kahrl, Ariel F.; Wu, Martin; Cox, Robert M. (2016), Data from: Does adaptive radiation of a host lineage promote ecological diversity of its bacterial communities? A test using gut microbiota of Anolis lizards, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.jn400

Abstract

Adaptive radiations provide unique opportunities to test whether and how recent ecological and evolutionary diversification of host species structures the composition of entire bacterial communities. We used 16S rRNA gene sequencing of faecal samples to test for differences in the gut microbiota of six species of Puerto Rican Anolis lizards characterized by the evolution of distinct ‘ecomorphs’ related to differences in habitat use. We found substantial variation in the composition of the microbiota within each species and ecomorph (trunk-crown, trunk-ground, grass-bush), but no differences in bacterial alpha diversity among species or ecomorphs. Beta diversity analyses revealed subtle but significant differences in bacterial composition related to host phylogeny and species, but these differences were not consistently associated with Anolis ecomorph. Comparison of a trunk-ground species from this clade (A. cristatellus) with a distantly related member of the same ecomorph class (A. sagrei) where the two species have been introduced and are now sympatric in Florida revealed pronounced differences in the alpha diversity and beta diversity of their microbiota despite their ecological similarity. Comparisons of these populations with allopatric conspecifics also revealed geographic differences in bacterial alpha diversity and beta diversity within each species. Finally, we observed high intraindividual variation over time and strong effects of a simplified laboratory diet on the microbiota of A. sagrei. Collectively, our results indicate that bacterial communities are only weakly shaped by the diversification of their lizard hosts due to the strikingly high levels of bacterial diversity and variation observed within Anolis species.

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