Including fossils in phylogenetic climate reconstructions: A deep time perspective on the climatic niche evolution and diversification of spiny lizards (Sceloporus)

A. Michelle Lawing, P. David Polly, Diana K. Hews, Emilia Martins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fossils and other paleontological information can improve phylogenetic comparative method estimates of phenotypic evolution and generate hypotheses related to species diversification. Here, we use fossil information to calibrate ancestral reconstructions of suitable climate for Sceloporus lizards in North America. Integrating data from the fossil record, general circulation models of paleoclimate during the Miocene, climate envelope modeling, and phylogenetic comparative methods provides a geographically and temporally explicit species distribution model of Sceloporus-suitable habitat through time. We provide evidence to support the historic biogeographic hypothesis of Sceloporus diversification in warm North American deserts and suggest a relatively recent Sceloporus invasion into Mexico around 6 Ma. We use a physiological model to map extinction risk. We suggest that the number of hours of restriction to a thermal refuge limited Sceloporus from inhabiting Mexico until the climate cooled enough to provide suitable habitat at approximately 6 Ma. If the future climate returns to the hotter climates of the past, Mexico, the place of highest modern Sceloporus richness, will no longer provide suitable habitats for Sceloporus to survive and reproduce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-148
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume188
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Climate
  • Evolution
  • Extinction risk
  • Miocene
  • Paleobiogeography
  • Sceloporus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Including fossils in phylogenetic climate reconstructions: A deep time perspective on the climatic niche evolution and diversification of spiny lizards (Sceloporus)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this