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Evaluating evolutionary pressures and phylogenetic signal in earthworms: a case study – the number of typhlosole lamellae in Hormogastridae (Annelida,Oligochaeta)



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Marchán, Daniel F. and Novo Rodríguez, Marta and Fernández, Rosa and Sosa, Irene de and Trigo Aza, María Dolores and Díaz Cosín, Darío J. (2016) Evaluating evolutionary pressures and phylogenetic signal in earthworms: a case study – the number of typhlosole lamellae in Hormogastridae (Annelida,Oligochaeta). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 178 (1). pp. 4-14. ISSN 0024-4082, ESSN: 1096-3642

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Official URL: https://academic.oup.com/zoolinnean/article/178/1/4/2667460


Rarely have phylogenetic comparative methods been used to study the correlation between phenotypic traits and environmental variables in invertebrates. With the widespread convergence and conservativeness of the morphological characters used in earthworms, these comparative methods could be useful to improve our understanding of their evolution and systematics. One of the most prominent morphological characters in the family Hormogastridae, endemic to Mediterranean areas, is their multilamellar typhlosole, traditionally thought to be an adaptation to soils poor in nutrients. We tested the correlation of body size and soil characteristics with the number of typhlosole lamellae through a phylogenetic generalized least squares (PGLS) analysis. An ultrametric phylogenetic hypothesis was built with a 2580-bp DNA sequence from 90 populations, used in combination with three morphological and 11 soil variables. The best-supported model, based on the Akaike information criterion, was obtained by optimizing the parameters lambda (k), kappa (j), and delta (d). The phylogenetic signal was strong for the number of typhlosole lamellae and average body weight, and was lower for soil variables. Increasing body weight appeared to be the main evolutionary pressure behind the increase in the number of typhlosole lamellae, with soil texture and soil richness having a weaker but significant effect. Information on the evolutionary rate of the number of typhlosole lamellae suggested that the early evolution of this character could have strongly shaped its variability, as is found in an adaptive radiation. This work highlights the importance of implementing the phylogenetic comparative method to test evolutionary hypotheses in invertebrate taxa.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Hormogastridae; Morphological evolution; Phylogenetic generalized least; Squares; Typhlosole
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Invertebrates
ID Code:46035
Deposited On:12 Jan 2018 12:02
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:25

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