Data from: Malagasy cichlids differentially limit impacts of body shape evolution on oral jaw functional morphology
Martinez, Christopher M.; Sparks, John Steven (2017), Data from: Malagasy cichlids differentially limit impacts of body shape evolution on oral jaw functional morphology, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.k3b10
Patterns of trait covariation, like integration and modularity, are vital factors that influence the evolution of vertebrate body plans. In functional systems, decoupling of morphological modules buffers functional change in one trait by reducing correlated variation with another. However, for complex morphologies with many-to-one mapping of form to function (MTOM), resistance to functional change may also be achieved by constraining morphological variation within a functionally stable region of morphospace. For this research, we used geometric morphometrics to evaluate the evolution of body shape and its relationship to jaw functional morphology in two independent radiations of endemic Malagasy cichlid (Teleostei: Cichlidae). Our results suggested that the two subfamilies used different strategies to mitigate impacts of body shape variation on a metric of jaw function, maxillary kinematic transmission (MKT): (1) modularity between cranial and postcranial morphologies, and (2) integration of body and jaw evolution, with jaw morphologies varying in a manner that limits change in MKT. This research shows that, unlike modularity, MTOM allows traits to retain strong evolutionary covariation while still reducing impacts on functionality. These results suggest that MTOM, and its influence on the evolution of correlated traits, is likely much more widespread than is currently understood.
National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-0749943; DEB-1257555