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Niche shifts after island colonization spurred adaptive diversification and speciation in a cosmopolitan bird clade

Lapiedra, O; Sayol, F; Garcia-Porta, J; Sol, D; (2021) Niche shifts after island colonization spurred adaptive diversification and speciation in a cosmopolitan bird clade. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , 288 (1958) , Article 20211022. 10.1098/rspb.2021.1022. Green open access

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Abstract

Islands have long been recognized as key contributors to biodiversity because they facilitate geographic isolation and ecological divergence from mainland ancestors. However, island colonization has traditionally been considered an evolutionary dead-end process, and its consequences for continental biodiversity remain understudied. Here, we use the evolutionary radiation of Columbiformes (i.e. pigeons and doves) to examine if ecological niche shifts on islands shaped biological diversification and community composition on continents. We show that the colonization of islands by continental, terrestrial-foraging lineages led to the exploitation of a new ecological niche (i.e. arboreal foraging). This transition towards arboreal foraging was associated with evolutionary adaptation towards a new morphological optimum. In addition, arboreal-foraging lineages of islands experienced an increase in speciation rates, which was associated with successful range expansions to other islands as well as back colonization of continents. Our results provide empirical evidence that diversification on continents can only be fully understood when studying the diversification processes that took place on islands, challenging the view of islands as mere sinks of evolutionary diversity.

Type: Article
Title: Niche shifts after island colonization spurred adaptive diversification and speciation in a cosmopolitan bird clade
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2021.1022
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.1022
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10134321
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