Phylogenetic constraints in key functional traits behind species' climate niches: patterns of desiccation and cold resistance across 95 Drosophila species

Vanessa Kellermann, Volker Loeschcke, Ary A Hoffmann, Torsten Nygaard Kristensen, Camilla Flojgaard, Jean R David, Jens-Christian Svenning, Johannes Overgaard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Species distributions are often constrained by climatic tolerances that are ultimately determined by evolutionary history and/or adaptive capacity, but these factors have rarely been partitioned. Here, we experimentally determined two key climatic niche traits (desiccation and cold resistance) for 92-95 Drosophila species and assessed their importance for geographic distributions, while controlling for acclimation, phylogeny, and spatial autocorrelation. Employing an array of phylogenetic analyses, we documented moderate-to-strong phylogenetic signal in both desiccation and cold resistance. Desiccation and cold resistance were clearly linked to species distributions because significant associations between traits and climatic variables persisted even after controlling for phylogeny. We used different methods to untangle whether phylogenetic signal reflected phylogenetically related species adapted to similar environments or alternatively phylogenetic inertia. For desiccation resistance, weak phylogenetic inertia was detected; ancestral trait reconstruction, however, revealed a deep divergence that could be traced back to the genus level. Despite drosophilids high evolutionary potential related to short generation times and high population sizes, cold resistance was found to have a moderate-to-high level of phylogenetic inertia, suggesting that evolutionary responses are likely to be slow. Together these findings suggest species distributions are governed by evolutionarily conservative climate responses, with limited scope for rapid adaptive responses to future climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3377 - 3389
Number of pages13
JournalEvolution
Volume66
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Kellermann, Vanessa ; Loeschcke, Volker ; Hoffmann, Ary A ; Kristensen, Torsten Nygaard ; Flojgaard, Camilla ; David, Jean R ; Svenning, Jens-Christian ; Overgaard, Johannes. / Phylogenetic constraints in key functional traits behind species' climate niches: patterns of desiccation and cold resistance across 95 Drosophila species. In: Evolution. 2012 ; Vol. 66, No. 11. pp. 3377 - 3389.
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title = "Phylogenetic constraints in key functional traits behind species' climate niches: patterns of desiccation and cold resistance across 95 Drosophila species",
abstract = "Species distributions are often constrained by climatic tolerances that are ultimately determined by evolutionary history and/or adaptive capacity, but these factors have rarely been partitioned. Here, we experimentally determined two key climatic niche traits (desiccation and cold resistance) for 92-95 Drosophila species and assessed their importance for geographic distributions, while controlling for acclimation, phylogeny, and spatial autocorrelation. Employing an array of phylogenetic analyses, we documented moderate-to-strong phylogenetic signal in both desiccation and cold resistance. Desiccation and cold resistance were clearly linked to species distributions because significant associations between traits and climatic variables persisted even after controlling for phylogeny. We used different methods to untangle whether phylogenetic signal reflected phylogenetically related species adapted to similar environments or alternatively phylogenetic inertia. For desiccation resistance, weak phylogenetic inertia was detected; ancestral trait reconstruction, however, revealed a deep divergence that could be traced back to the genus level. Despite drosophilids high evolutionary potential related to short generation times and high population sizes, cold resistance was found to have a moderate-to-high level of phylogenetic inertia, suggesting that evolutionary responses are likely to be slow. Together these findings suggest species distributions are governed by evolutionarily conservative climate responses, with limited scope for rapid adaptive responses to future climate change.",
author = "Vanessa Kellermann and Volker Loeschcke and Hoffmann, {Ary A} and Kristensen, {Torsten Nygaard} and Camilla Flojgaard and David, {Jean R} and Jens-Christian Svenning and Johannes Overgaard",
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Phylogenetic constraints in key functional traits behind species' climate niches: patterns of desiccation and cold resistance across 95 Drosophila species. / Kellermann, Vanessa; Loeschcke, Volker; Hoffmann, Ary A; Kristensen, Torsten Nygaard; Flojgaard, Camilla; David, Jean R; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Overgaard, Johannes.

In: Evolution, Vol. 66, No. 11, 2012, p. 3377 - 3389.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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