The impact of paleoclimatic changes on body size evolution in marine fishes

Emily M. Troyer, Ricardo Betancur-R, Lily C. Hughes, Mark Westneat, Giorgio Carnevale, William T. White, John J. Pogonoski, James C. Tyler, Carole C. Baldwin, Guillermo Orťı, Andrew Brinkworth, Julien Clavel, Dahiana Arcila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Body size is an important species trait, correlating with life span, fecundity, and other ecological factors. Over Earth’s geological history, climate shifts have occurred, potentially shaping body size evolution in many clades. General rules attempting to summarize body size evolution include Bergmann’s rule, which states that species reach larger sizes in cooler environments and smaller sizes in warmer environments, and Cope’s rule, which poses that lineages tend to increase in size over evolutionary time. Tetraodontiform fishes (including pufferfishes, boxfishes, and ocean sunfishes) provide an extraordinary clade to test these rules in ectotherms owing to their exemplary fossil record and the great disparity in body size observed among extant and fossil species. We examined Bergmann’s and Cope’s rules in this group by combining phylogenomic data (1,103 exon loci from 185 extant species) with 210 anatomical characters coded from both fossil and extant species. We aggregated data layers on paleoclimate and body size from the species examined, and inferred a set of time-calibrated phylogenies using tip-dating approaches for downstream comparative analyses of body size evolution by implementing models that incorporate paleoclimatic information. We found strong support for a temperature-driven model in which increasing body size over time is correlated with decreasing oceanic temperatures. On average, extant tetraodontiforms are two to three times larger than their fossil counterparts, which otherwise evolved during periods of warmer ocean temperatures. These results provide strong support for both Bergmann’s and Cope’s rules, trends that are less studied in marine fishes compared to terrestrial vertebrates and marine invertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2122486119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume119
Issue number29
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
G. Slater (The University of Chicago) for advice on modeling. The computing for this project was performed University of Oklahoma Supercomputing Center for Education & Research (OSCER). OSCER Director H. Neeman and OSCER Senior System Administrators J. Speckman and H. Severini provided valuable technical expertise. This project was supported by NSF grants to D.A. (Nos. DEB-2015404, DEB-2144325, and DBI-2131464), R.B.-R. (Nos. DEB-1932759 and DEB-1929248), G.O. (Nos. DEB-1457426 and DEB-1541554), and C.C.B. (No. DEB-1541552). Financial support was provided from the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships and the Office of the Provost, University of Oklahoma.

Funding Information:
We are thankful to L. Smith and A. Bentley (University of Kansas) for providing tissue samples. A. Graham (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation [CSIRO] Australian National Fish Collection, Hobart), C. Huddleston, and D. Pitassy (Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History) assisted with preparing and shipping samples. R. Peterson and V. Rodriguez (The George Washington University) helped by conducting DNA extractions. We also thank G. Soreghan (University of Oklahoma) and C. Lear (Cardiff University) for their advice on paleoclimate datasets and G. Slater (The University of Chicago) for advice on modeling. The computing for this project was performed University of Oklahoma Supercomputing Center for Education & Research (OSCER). OSCER Director H. Neeman and OSCER Senior System Administrators J. Speckman and H. Severini provided valuable technical expertise. This project was supported by NSF grants to D.A. (Nos. DEB-2015404, DEB-2144325, and DBI- 2131464), R.B.-R. (Nos. DEB-1932759 and DEB-1929248), G.O. (Nos. DEB-1457426 and DEB-1541554), and C.C.B. (No. DEB-1541552). Financial support was provided from The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships and The Office of the Provost, University of Oklahoma.

Keywords

  • Bergmann’s rule
  • Cope’s rule
  • paleoclimate
  • Tetraodontiformes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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