Seminar: "The repeated convergent evolution of correlated life history traits and phenotype in the Izu Island lizard (Plestiodon latiscutatus)" by Dr. Matt Brandley
9:20-10:10, Oct 23
Dr. Matt Brandley
Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales, (Australia)
The repeated convergent evolution of correlated life history traits and phenotype in the Izu Island lizard (Plestiodon latiscutatus)
Because volcanic (oceanic) islands form with no connection to the mainland and are colonized only by limited dispersal, they serve as ‘blank slates’ on which we can observe the varied outcome of ecological and evolutionary processes. The volcanic Izu Island Archipelago is an ideal evolutionary study system because of its geologic and microhabitat diversity, range in island size and distance of islands from the mainland. In this presentation, I discuss how the natural and geologic history of the Izu Islands affected the biogeography, and phenotypic and life history evolution of the Izu skink lizard (Plestiodon latiscutatus). This lizard inhabits most of the Izu Islands and the Izu Peninsula, and island populations differ in body and tail coloration, egg mass, clutch size, and other traits. I demonstrate how this phenotypic and life history diversity evolved in response to different mainland and island assemblages of island mammal, snake, and bird predators. I also show that suites of correlated life history traits and phenotypes have evolved independently multiple times in Izu skinks in response to similar predation pressures.