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Plos Biology : Mutualistic Interactions Drive Ecological Niche Convergence in a Diverse Butterfly Community, Volume 6

By Elias, Marianne

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Book Id: WPLBN0003928889
Format Type: PDF eBook :
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Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Plos Biology : Mutualistic Interactions Drive Ecological Niche Convergence in a Diverse Butterfly Community, Volume 6  
Author: Elias, Marianne
Volume: Volume 6
Language: English
Subject: Journals, Science, Biology
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, PLoS Biology
Historic
Publication Date:
Publisher: Plos

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Elias, M. (n.d.). Plos Biology : Mutualistic Interactions Drive Ecological Niche Convergence in a Diverse Butterfly Community, Volume 6. Retrieved from http://netlibrary.net/


Description
Description : Ecological communities are structured in part by evolutionary interactions among their members. A number of recent studies incorporating phylogenetics into community ecology have upheld the paradigm that competition drives ecological divergence among species of the same guild. However, the role of other interspecific interactions, in particular positive interactions such as mutualism, remains poorly explored. We characterized the ecological niche and inferred phylogenetic relationships among members of a diverse community of neotropical Mu¨ llerian mimetic butterflies. Mu¨ llerian mimicry is one of the best studied examples of mutualism, in which unpalatable species converge in wing pattern locally to advertize their toxicity to predators. We provide evidence that mutualistic interactions can drive convergence along multiple ecological axes, outweighing both phylogeny and competition in shaping community structure. Our findings imply that ecological communities are adaptively assembled to a much greater degree than commonly suspected. In addition, our results show that phenotype and ecology are strongly linked and support the idea that mimicry can cause ecological speciation through multiple cascading effects on species’ biology.

 

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