How and why has metamorphosis evolved, why it is so common, and how does it impact the evolution and diversity of life? In our recent Nature Ecology and Evolution study, we show that metamorphosis has been a key driver of diversity of salamander skull evolution over the past 180 million years. Leer más.
We found four different water frog population compositions: two with only P. ridibundus, one composed of P. lessonae and P. esculentus, three with P. ridibundus and P. esculentus, and three containing all three water frog taxa. Historical data show that the area was previously inhabited by lessonae-esculentus populations. We propose that both ecological and genetic replacement by expanding P. ridibundus may have contributed to the decline of the former. Overall, 18% of P. ridibundus frogs contained introgressed P. lessonae mtDNA, however, the frequency of introgressants was most pronounced in populations with a high proportion of P. esculentus. Exotic water frogs were not detected in the study area. Leer más.
After considering size effects, we found significant differences in body proportions between the sexes and across colour morphs, which suggests an important influence of lowland and montane habitats in shaping morphological variation. By contrast, head shape did not exhibit significant variation across sexes or colour morphs. Instead it was mainly associated to allometric variation, where the supraocular and the rear regions of the head were the areas that varied the most throughout growth and across individuals. Leer más.
Amphibians secrete a wide variety of compounds from their skin glands. Generally, mucous glands help provide a moist coating on their skin to facilitate cutaneous respiration while granular glands secrete substances that amphibians use as a chemical defence against predators (eg. toxic and noxious compounds) and microorganisms (eg. antimicrobial peptides). This is sometimes displayed with bright, aposematic colouration (Duellman and Trueb 1996). Leer más.
Species can occupy different realised niches when sharing the space with other congeneric species or when living in allopatry. Ecological niche models are powerful tools to analyse species niches and their changes over time and space. Analysing how species’ realised niches shift is paramount in ecology. Here, we examine the ecological realised niche of three species of wall lizards in six study areas: three areas where each species occurs alone; and three areas where they occur together in pairs. We compared the species’ realised niches and how they vary depending on species’ coexistence, by quantifying niche overlap between pairs of species or populations with the R package ecospat. Leer más.