Record Details

Snell, Howard L;Snell, Heidi M;Tracy, C Richard
Variation among populations of Galapagos land iguanas (Conolophus): contrasts of phylogeny and ecology
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
Journal Article
Conolophus subcristatus;Conolophus pallidus
A phylogenetic scheme derived via multivariate analyses of adaptively neutral scale characteristics is compared to patterns of ecological adaptation in body size and shape, hatchling size, clutch size, and reproductive seasonality, in extant populations of Galapagos land iguanas (genus Conolophus). Three groups of land iguana populations are identified, the oldest being the population of Isla Santa Fe, followed by the populations of the central islands (Santa Cruz, Plaza Sur and Baltra), the youngest populations are those of the western islands (Fernandina and Isabela). Patterns of ecological similarity among these populations are not concordant with phylogenetic lineage. Populations most similar in ecological characteristics are often phylogenetically divergent. Adaptation to local conditions by iguana populations is apparently more important than phylogenetic constraint in explaining variation in ecological characteristics. The assumption that phylogenetically closely-related organisms are also ecologically more similar than less closely-related organisms is not supported by this evidence. Some previous studies may have been misled by using ecological characteristics to derive phylogenetic lineages, resulting in circular support of the assumption.