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      Sympatric competitors have driven the evolution of temporal activity patterns in Cnemaspis geckos in Southeast Asia

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          Abstract

          It is often assumed that animals’ temporal activity patterns are highly conserved throughout evolution. While most geckos are nocturnal, the species in the Cnemaspis genus are mostly diurnal (only a few are nocturnal). This raises a question about the evolution of a diel niche in the Cnemaspis genus. Cnemaspis geckos are distributed across Southeast Asia and are often sympatric with Cyrtodactylus, another widespread gecko genus in the same area. Since both genera are mainly rocky habitat specialists, we hypothesize that Cyrtodactylus may influence the temporal activity pattern of Cnemaspis when they are sympatric through competition. By analyzing habitat data, diel activity, and the existence of sympatric Cyrtodactylus species across the phylogeny of the Cnemaspis genus, we found (1) strong phylogenetic signals in the habitat use trait but not in temporal activity, suggesting that the diel niche of this genus is more labile compared with habitat niche, and (2) a significant association with the temporal activity pattern of Cnemaspis and the sympatry between the two genera, with the former tending to be diurnal when they are sympatric. Originated from a diurnal common ancestor, the release from competition with Cyrtodactylus species might open an opportunity for some Cnemaspis species to shift to nocturnal niches.

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          Most cited references 30

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          Soil nutrients and beta diversity in the Bornean Dipterocarpaceae: evidence for niche partitioning by tropical rain forest trees

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            History and the global ecology of squamate reptiles.

            The structure of communities may be largely a result of evolutionary changes that occurred many millions of years ago. We explore the historical ecology of squamates (lizards and snakes), identify historically derived differences among clades, and examine how this history has affected present-day squamate assemblages globally. A dietary shift occurred in the evolutionary history of squamates. Iguanian diets contain large proportions of ants, other hymenopterans, and beetles, whereas these are minor prey in scleroglossan lizards. A preponderance of termites, grasshoppers, spiders, and insect larvae in their diets suggests that scleroglossan lizards harvest higher energy prey or avoid prey containing noxious chemicals. The success of this dietary shift is suggested by dominance of scleroglossans in lizard assemblages throughout the world. One scleroglossan clade, Autarchoglossa, combined an advanced vomeronasal chemosensory system with jaw prehension and increased activity levels. We suggest these traits provided them a competitive advantage during the day in terrestrial habitats. Iguanians and gekkotans shifted to elevated microhabitats historically, and gekkotans shifted activity to nighttime. These historically derived niche differences are apparent in extant lizard assemblages and account for some observed structure. These patterns occur in a variety of habitats at both regional and local levels throughout the world.
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              Species richness and morphological diversity of passerine birds.

              The relationship between species richness and the occupation of niche space can provide insight into the processes that shape patterns of biodiversity. For example, if species interactions constrained coexistence, one might expect tendencies toward even spacing within niche space and positive relationships between diversity and total niche volume. I use morphological diversity of passerine birds as a proxy for diet, foraging maneuvers, and foraging substrates and examine the morphological space occupied by regional and local passerine avifaunas. Although independently diversified regional faunas exhibit convergent morphology, species are clustered rather than evenly distributed, the volume of the morphological space is weakly related to number of species per taxonomic family, and morphological volume is unrelated to number of species within both regional avifaunas and local assemblages. These results seemingly contradict patterns expected when species interactions constrain regional or local diversity, and they suggest a larger role for diversification, extinction, and dispersal limitation in shaping species richness.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                lizard.dna@gmail.com
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                8 January 2020
                8 January 2020
                2020
                : 10
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2105 6888, GRID grid.267849.6, Department of Zoology, Southern Institute of Ecology, , Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, ; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2158 7670, GRID grid.412090.e, School of Life Science, , National Taiwan Normal University, ; Taipei, Taiwan
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2287 1366, GRID grid.28665.3f, Biodiversity Program, , Taiwan International Graduate Program, Academia Sinica, ; Taipei, Taiwan
                [4 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2287 1366, GRID grid.28665.3f, Biodiversity Research Center, , Academia Sinica, ; Taipei, Taiwan
                Article
                56549
                10.1038/s41598-019-56549-x
                6949239
                31913297
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef https://doi.org/10.13039/501100004663, Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan);
                Award ID: MOST 108-2311-B-003-001-MY3
                Award ID: MOST 108-2621-B-003-003-MY3
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2020

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                evolutionary ecology, evolutionary theory, phylogenetics

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