Is Geographic Variation within Species Related to Macroevolutionary Patterns between Species?
The relationship between microevolution and macroevolution is a central topic in evolutionary biology. An aspect of this relationship that remains very poorly studied in modern evolutionary biology is the relationship between within-species geographic variation and among-species patterns of trait variation. Here, we tested the relationship between climate and morphology among and within species in the salamander genus Plethodon. We focus on a discrete color polymorphism (presence and absence of a red dorsal stripe) that appears to be related to climatic distributions in a common, wide-ranging species (Plethodon cinereus). We find that this trait has been variable among (and possibly within) species for > 40 million years. Furthermore, we find a strong relationship among species between climatic variation and within-species morph frequencies. These between-species patterns are similar (but not identical) to those in the broadly distributed Plethodon cinereus. Surprisingly, there are no significant climate-morphology relationships within most other polymorphic species, despite the strong between-species patterns. Overall, our study provides an initial exploration of how within-species geographic variation and large-scale macroevolutionary patterns of trait variation may be related.
Fisher-Reid, M.C. & Wiens, J.J. (2015). Is Geographic Variation within Species Related to Macroevolutionary Patterns between Species? Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 28(8), 1502-1515. DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12670.
Virtual Commons Citation
Fisher-Reid, M. Caitlin and Wiens, J. J. (2015). Is Geographic Variation within Species Related to Macroevolutionary Patterns between Species?. In Biological Sciences Faculty Publications. Paper 50.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/biol_fac/50