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Seasonal environments drive convergent evolution of a faster pace-of-life in tropical butterflies

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Repository DOI


Type

Article

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Authors

Halali, Sridhar 
van Bergen, Erik 
Breuker, Casper J 
Brakefield, Paul M 
Brattstrom, Oskar 

Abstract

New ecological niches that may arise due to climate change can trigger diversification, but their colonization often requires adaptations in a suite of life-history traits. We test this hypothesis in species-rich Mycalesina butterflies that have undergone parallel radiations in Africa, Asia, and Madagascar. First, our ancestral state reconstruction of habitat preference, using ~85% of extant species, revealed that early forest-linked lineages began to invade seasonal savannahs during the late Miocene-Pliocene. Second, rearing replicate pairs of forest and savannah species from the African and Malagasy radiation in a common garden experiment, and utilising published data from the Asian radiation, demonstrated that savannah species consistently develop faster, have smaller bodies, higher fecundity with an earlier investment in reproduction, and reduced longevity, compared to forest species across all three radiations. We argue that time-constraints for reproduction favoured the evolution of a faster pace-of-life in savannah species that facilitated their persistence in seasonal habitats.

Description

Keywords

Habitat templet, life&#8208, history, Miocene, parallel radiations, r, K strategy, savannahs, seasonality, time&#8208, constraints, trade&#8208, offs

Journal Title

Ecology Letters

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

1461-023X
1461-0248

Volume Title

Publisher

Wiley
Sponsorship
European Research Council (250325)
John Templeton Foundation (via University of St Andrews) (13337)
European Research Council (EMARES, Grant No. 250325) John Templeton Foundation (Grant No. 60501)

Version History

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2*
2023-08-09 11:06:09
Published version added
2020-09-29 23:30:27
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