Adaptive Radiation: Phylogenetic Constraints and Ecological Consequences

Peter W. Price

in Specialization, Speciation, and Radiation

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780520251328
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933828 | DOI:
Adaptive Radiation: Phylogenetic Constraints and Ecological Consequences

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A fundamental question in evolutionary biology is how adaptive radiation proceeds on continents, where most of it occurs. The question is most pressing when insects are considered, especially in phytophagous taxa, which represent more than 25 percent of terrestrial biodiversity. For insect herbivores, adaptive zones may involve adaptation within a single phyletic line to living in or on, and feeding upon, different plant modules such as leaves, stems, roots, flowers, or fruits. The ecological niches within any adaptive zone may be defined by the host-plant species which is exploited, so that related insect herbivore species may speciate across related host-plant species. A long tradition in ecology and evolution argues that there are dramatic differences between the ecology and evolution of species and communities in temperate and tropical environments. This chapter discusses the phylogenetic constraints and ecological consequences of adaptive radiation. It examines the phylogenetic constraints hypothesis, adaptive capture and escape, the adaptive radiation of common sawflies, and comparison of temperate sawflies and tropical treehoppers.

Keywords: evolutionary biology; adaptive radiation; insect herbivores; adaptive zones; adaptation; ecology; evolution; phylogenetic constraints hypothesis; sawflies; treehoppers

Chapter.  11375 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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