BIO 1130 A6
Many ecological and historical processes have been proposed as drivers of diversification within clades 8, including ecological release 3, competition 1, key innovations 6, and constraints. In this study, we focus on the role of key innovation and constraint in the diversification of squamate reptiles in the context of their vertebral evolution. A key innovation is a structure or property that allows a taxon to perform novel functions, thereby facilitating access to new niches, and ultimately resulting in increased rates of diversification 4. Testing for key innovation has typically involved establishing a positive relationship between the presence of a trait and species richness 5, 2, but has largely ignored other aspects of diversity 7.
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2. Alfaro, M. E., Brock, C. D., Banbury, B. L. & Wainwright, P. C. Does evolutionary innovation in pharyngeal jaws lead to rapid lineage diversification in labrid fishes? BMC Evolutionary Biology 9, 255 (2009).
3. Archibald, J. D. & Deutschman, D. H. Quantitative analysis of the timing of the origin and diversification of extant placental orders. J. Mamm. Evol. 8, 107-124 (2001).
4. Gavrilets, S. & Losos, J. B. Adaptive Radiation: Contrasting Theory with Data. Science (Washington D C) 323, 732-737 (2009).
5. Hodges, S. A. & Arnold, M. L. Spurring plant