Clownfishes evolution below and above the species level

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Authors Jonathan Rolland, Daniele Silvestro, Glenn Litsios, Laurélène Faye, Nicolas Salamin
Journal/Conference Name Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Paper Category
Paper Abstract The difference between rapid morphological evolutionary changes observed in populations and the long periods of stasis detected in the fossil record has raised a decade-long debate about the exact role played by intraspecific mechanisms at the interspecific level. Although they represent different scales of the same evolutionary process, micro- and macroevolution are rarely studied together and few empirical studies have compared the rates of evolution and the selective pressures between both scales. Here, we analyse morphological, genetic and ecological traits in clownfishes at different evolutionary scales and demonstrate that the tempo of molecular and morphological evolution at the species level can be, to some extent, predicted from parameters estimated below the species level, such as the effective population size or the rate of evolution within populations. We also show that similar codons in the gene of the rhodopsin RH1, a light-sensitive receptor protein, are under positive selection at the intra and interspecific scales, suggesting that similar selective pressures are acting at both levels.
Date of publication 2018
Code Programming Language Python

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