Published December 21, 2022 | Version v1
Dataset Open

Songbirds of the Americas show uniform morphological evolution despite heterogeneous diversification

  • 1. Regis University
  • 2. University of Minnesota

Description

Studying the relationship between diversification and functional trait evolution among broadly co-occurring clades can shed light on interactions between ecology and evolutionary history. However, evidence from many studies is compromised because of their focus at overly broad geographic or narrow phylogenetic scales. We addressed these limitations by studying 46 independent, biogeographically-delimited clades of songbirds that dispersed from the Eastern Hemisphere into the Americas and assessed 1) whether diversification has varied through time and/or among clades within this assemblage, 2) the extent of heterogeneity in clade-specific morphological trait disparity, and 3) whether morphological disparity among these clades is consistent with a uniform diversification model. We found equivalent support for constant rates of birth-death and density-dependent speciation processes, with notable outliers having significantly fewer or more species than expected given their age. We also found substantial variation in morphological disparity among these clades, but that variation was broadly consistent with uniform evolutionary rates, despite the existence of diversification outliers. These findings indicate relatively continuous, ongoing morphological diversification within all clades, arguing against conceptual models of adaptive radiation. Additionally, they suggest surprisingly consistent diversification among the majority of these clades, despite tremendous variance in colonization history, habitat valences, and trophic specializations that exist among continental clades of organisms.

Notes

Funding provided by: National Science Foundation
Crossref Funder Registry ID: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000001
Award Number: DEB-1541312

Funding provided by: University of Minnesota
Crossref Funder Registry ID: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100007249
Award Number: Florence Rothman Grant

Funding provided by: Bell Museum of Natural History, University of Minnesota
Crossref Funder Registry ID: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100012771
Award Number: Richard & Judie Huempfner Grant

Funding provided by: American Museum of Natural History
Crossref Funder Registry ID: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100005835
Award Number: Collection Study Grant

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