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Data from: Habitat partitioning and morphological differentiation: the Southeast Asian Draco lizards and Caribbean Anolis lizards compared

Citation

Ord, Terry J.; Klomp, Danielle A. (2015), Data from: Habitat partitioning and morphological differentiation: the Southeast Asian Draco lizards and Caribbean Anolis lizards compared, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q1vf1

Abstract

Sympatric species that initially overlap in resource use are expected to partition the environment in ways that will minimize interspecific competition. This shift in resource use can in turn prompt evolutionary changes in morphology. A classic example of habitat partitioning and morphological differentiation are the Caribbean Anolis lizards. Less well studied, but nevertheless striking analogues to the Anolis are the Southeast Asian Draco lizards. Draco and Anolis have evolved independently of each other for at least 80 million years. Their comparison subsequently offers a special opportunity to examine mechanisms of phenotypic differentiation between two ecologically diverse, but phylogenetically distinct groups. We tested whether Draco shared ecological axes of differentiation with Anolis (e.g., habitat use), whether this differentiation reflected interspecific competition, and to what extent adaptive change in morphology has occurred along these ecological axes. Using existing data on Anolis, we compared the habitat use and morphology of Draco in a field study of allopatric and sympatric species on the Malay Peninsula, Borneo and in the Philippines. Sympatric Draco lizards partitioned the environment along common resource axes to the Anolis lizards, especially in perch use. Furthermore, the morphology of Draco was correlated with perch use in the same way as it was in Anolis: species that used wider perches exhibited longer limb lengths. These results provide an important illustration of how interspecific competition can occur along common ecological axes in different animal groups, and how natural selection along these axes can generate the same type of adaptive change in morphology.

Usage Notes

Location

Borneo
Philippines
Malaysia
Caribbean