Environmental conditions on Earth are repeated in non-random patterns that often coincide with species from different regions and time periods having consistent combinations of morphological, physiological and behavioral traits. Observation of repeated trait combinations among species confronting similar environmental conditions suggest that adaptive trait combinations are constrained by functional tradeoffs within or across niche dimensions. In an earlier study, we assembled a high-resolution database of functional traits for 134 lizard species to explore ecological diversification in relation to five fundamental niche dimensions. Here we expand and further examine multivariate relationships in that dataset to assess the relative influence of niche dimensions on the distribution of species in 6-dimensional niche space and how these may deviate from distributions generated from null models. We then analyzed a dataset with lower functional-trait resolution for 1023 lizard species that was compiled from our dataset and a published database, representing most of the extant families and environmental conditions occupied by lizards globally. Ordinations from multivariate analysis were compared with null models to assess how ecological and historical factors have resulted in the conservation, divergence or convergence of lizard niches.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||How do lizard niches conserve, diverge or converge? Further exploration of saurian evolutionary ecology|
|Series title||BMC Ecology and Evolution|
|Contributing office(s)||Leetown Science Center, Eastern Ecological Science Center|
|Description||149, 13 p.|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|