Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, Statistics
Journal or Book Title
Directional evolution is one of the most compelling evolutionary patterns observed in macroevolution. Yet, despite its importance, detecting such trends in multivariate data remains a challenge. In this study, we evaluate multivariate evolution of shell shape in 93 bivalved scallop species, combining geometric morphometrics and phylogenetic comparative methods. Phylomorphospace visualization described the history of morphological diversification in the group; revealing that taxa with a recessing life habit were the most distinctive in shell shape, and appeared to display a directional trend. To evaluate this hypothesis empirically, we extended existing methods by characterizing the mean directional evolution in phylomorphospace for recessing scallops. We then compared this pattern to what was expected under several alternative evolutionary scenarios using phylogenetic simulations. The observed pattern did not fall within the distribution obtained under multivariate Brownian motion, enabling us to reject this evolutionary scenario. By contrast, the observed pattern was more similar to, and fell within, the distribution obtained from simulations using Brownian motion combined with a directional trend. Thus, the observed data are consistent with a pattern of directional evolution for this lineage of recessing scallops. We discuss this putative directional evolutionary trend in terms of its potential adaptive role in exploiting novel habitats.
Sherratt, Emma; Alejandrino, Alvin; Kraemer, Andrew C.; Serb, Jeanne M.; and Adams, Dean C., "Trends in the sand: directional evolution in the shell shape of recessing scallops (Bivalvia: Pectinidae)" (2016). Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Publications. 202.