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Adaptive Radiation of Day-Geckos (Phelsuma) in the Seychelles Archipelago: A Phylogenetic Analysis

Ray R. Radtkey
Evolution
Vol. 50, No. 2 (Apr., 1996), pp. 604-623
DOI: 10.2307/2410835
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410835
Page Count: 20
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Adaptive Radiation of Day-Geckos (Phelsuma) in the Seychelles Archipelago: A Phylogenetic Analysis
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Abstract

A phylogenetic analysis using characters derived from mitochondrial DNA was used to show that the species of Phelsuma in the Seychelles Islands represent a single, monophyletic lineage that has diversified as a result of both historical and ecological factors. In the distant past, the Seychelles archipelago was physically invaded by a single species of Phesluma. Separate eustatic sea level changes likely led first to allopatric speciation and then to the secondary contact of these sister species. Differences in the relative timing of the secondary contact between island groups resulted in P sundbergi evolving an intermediate body size in the group of islands associated with Mahe and a large body size, while sympatric with P. astriata, in the group of islands associated with Praslin. Ecological information was used to support the conclusion that the actual evolutionary mechanism for the body size shift was a response to frequency dependent natural selection of P sundbergi in single-species and two-species competitive regimes.

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