Understanding how and why certain clades diversify greatly in morphology whereas others do not remains a major theme in evolutionary biology. Projecting families of phylogenies into multivariate morphospaces can distinguish two scenarios potentially leading to unequal morphological diversification: unequal magnitude of change per phylogenetic branch, and unequal efficiency in morphological innovation. This approach is demonstrated using a case study of skulls in sister clades within the South American fish superfamily Anostomoidea. Unequal morphological diversification in this system resulted not from the morphologically diverse clade changing more on each phylogenetic branch, but from that clade distributing an equal amount of change more widely through morphospace and innovating continually. Although substantial morphological evolution occurred throughout the less diverse clade's history, most of that clade's expansion in morphospace occurred in the most basal branches, and more derived portions of that radiation oscillated within previously explored limits. Because simulations revealed that there is a maximum 2.7% probability of generating two clades that differ so greatly in the density of lineages within morphospace under a null Brownian model, the observed difference in pattern likely reflects a difference in the underlying evolutionary process. Clade–specific factors that may have promoted or arrested morphological diversification are discussed.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 62 • No. 12