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Environmental temperatures shape thermal physiology as well as diversification and genome-wide substitution rates in lizards

García-Porta, Joan; Irisarri, Iker; Kirchner, Martin; Rodriguez, Ariel; Kirchhof, Sebastian; Brown, Jason L.; MacLeod, Amy; Turner, Alexander P.; Ahmadzadeh, Faraham; Albaladejo, Gonzalo; Crnobrnja-Isailovic, Jelka; De la Riva, Ignacio; Fawzi, Adnane; Galan, Pedro; Göçmen, Bayram; Harris, D. James; Jiménez-Robles, Octavio; Joger, Ulrich; Jovanović Glavaš, Olga; Kar??, Mert; Koziel, Giannina; Künzel, Sven; Lyra, Mariana; Miles, Donald; Nogales, Manuel; O?uz, Mehmet An?l; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Rancilhac, Loïs; Rodríguez, Noemi; Rodríguez Concepción, Benza; Sanchez, Eugenia; Salvi, Daniele; Slimani, Tahar; S'khifa, Abderrahim; Qashqaei, Ali Turk; Žagar, Anamarija; Lemmon, Alan; Lemmon, Emily Moriarty; Carretero, Miguel Angel; Carranza, Salvador; Philippe, Hervé; Sinervo, Barry; Müller, Johannes; Vences, Miguel; Wollenberg Valero, Katharina C.


Joan García-Porta

Iker Irisarri

Martin Kirchner

Ariel Rodriguez

Sebastian Kirchhof

Jason L. Brown

Amy MacLeod

Alexander P. Turner

Faraham Ahmadzadeh

Gonzalo Albaladejo

Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailovic

Ignacio De la Riva

Adnane Fawzi

Pedro Galan

Bayram Göçmen

D. James Harris

Octavio Jiménez-Robles

Ulrich Joger

Olga Jovanović Glavaš

Mert Kar??

Giannina Koziel

Sven Künzel

Mariana Lyra

Donald Miles

Manuel Nogales

Mehmet An?l O?uz

Panayiotis Pafilis

Loïs Rancilhac

Noemi Rodríguez

Benza Rodríguez Concepción

Eugenia Sanchez

Daniele Salvi

Tahar Slimani

Abderrahim S'khifa

Ali Turk Qashqaei

Anamarija Žagar

Alan Lemmon

Emily Moriarty Lemmon

Miguel Angel Carretero

Salvador Carranza

Hervé Philippe

Barry Sinervo

Johannes Müller

Miguel Vences

Katharina C. Wollenberg Valero


© 2019, The Author(s). Climatic conditions changing over time and space shape the evolution of organisms at multiple levels, including temperate lizards in the family Lacertidae. Here we reconstruct a dated phylogenetic tree of 262 lacertid species based on a supermatrix relying on novel phylogenomic datasets and fossil calibrations. Diversification of lacertids was accompanied by an increasing disparity among occupied bioclimatic niches, especially in the last 10 Ma, during a period of progressive global cooling. Temperate species also underwent a genome-wide slowdown in molecular substitution rates compared to tropical and desert-adapted lacertids. Evaporative water loss and preferred temperature are correlated with bioclimatic parameters, indicating physiological adaptations to climate. Tropical, but also some populations of cool-adapted species experience maximum temperatures close to their preferred temperatures. We hypothesize these species-specific physiological preferences may constitute a handicap to prevail under rapid global warming, and contribute to explaining local lizard extinctions in cool and humid climates.


García-Porta, J., Irisarri, I., Kirchner, M., Rodriguez, A., Kirchhof, S., Brown, J. L., …Wollenberg Valero, K. C. (2019). Environmental temperatures shape thermal physiology as well as diversification and genome-wide substitution rates in lizards. Nature communications, 10(1), Article 4077.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 13, 2019
Online Publication Date Sep 9, 2019
Publication Date Dec 1, 2019
Deposit Date Aug 14, 2019
Publicly Available Date Sep 10, 2019
Journal Nature Communications
Electronic ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 1
Article Number 4077
Keywords Climate-change ecology; Conservation biology; Herpetology; Phylogenetics
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Received: 31 August 2018; Accepted: 13 August 2019; First Online: 9 September 2019; : The authors declare no competing interests.


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