3 years ago

Pulsed evolution shaped modern vertebrate body sizes [Evolution]

Pulsed evolution shaped modern vertebrate body sizes [Evolution]
Michael J. Landis, Joshua G. Schraiber

The relative importance of different modes of evolution in shaping phenotypic diversity remains a hotly debated question. Fossil data suggest that stasis may be a common mode of evolution, while modern data suggest some lineages experience very fast rates of evolution. One way to reconcile these observations is to imagine that evolution proceeds in pulses, rather than in increments, on geological timescales. To test this hypothesis, we developed a maximum-likelihood framework for fitting Lévy processes to comparative morphological data. This class of stochastic processes includes both an incremental and a pulsed component. We found that a plurality of modern vertebrate clades examined are best fitted by pulsed processes over models of incremental change, stationarity, and adaptive radiation. When we compare our results to theoretical expectations of the rate and speed of regime shifts for models that detail fitness landscape dynamics, we find that our quantitative results are broadly compatible with both microevolutionary models and observations from the fossil record.

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.