Show simple item record Lawing, A. Michelle Head, Jason J. Polly, P. David 2012-03-21T13:55:23Z 2012-03-21T13:55:23Z 2012-03-20
dc.identifier.citation Lawing, A.M., J.J. Head, and P.D. Polly. 2012. The ecology of morphology: the ecometrics of locomotion and macroenvironment in North American snakes. Pp. 117-146 in J. Louys (ed), Paleontology in Ecology and Conservation. Springer-Verlag, Berlin and Heidelberg. en
dc.description.abstract Morphological traits that have a functional relationship with the environment can be used to study relationships between organisms and environments through time and across space. Dynamics of the trait-environment complex can be studied with ecometrics in individuals, in populations, and in communities. We explored how closely correlated three skeletal traits are with substrate use, and thus macrohabitat, among communities of snakes with the goal of better understanding how climate and macrovegetation might affect snake assemblages. Substrate use explained a large part of the variance in mean length-to-width ratio of vertebrae (R2 = 0.66), PC1 of vertebral shape of a mid trunk vertebra (R2 = 0.46), and relative tail length (R2 = 0.71). Furthermore, mean relative tail length in snake assemblages across North America is strongly associated with ecoregions and vegetation cover (R2 = 0.65 and 0.47, respectively). The close relationship with macrovegetation makes relative tail length a useful tool for predicting how snake assemblages will change as climates and biomes change across space or through time. This “ecometric” approach provides a medium-scale link between data collected from ecological studies over decades to data assembled from the fossil record over thousands, tens of thousands, or even millions of years. We show how historical vegetation changes between the early 20th and 21st centuries at five preserves in North America resulted in ecometric changes that parallel the geographic distribution of relative tail length in snake communities across North America. This file contains supplementary data: specimen data, locomotor categorizations, and super-tree phylogeny. en
dc.description.sponsorship US National Science Foundation (EAR-0843935), Integrated Climate Change Biology programme (iCCB) of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), NSF Biological Informatics Postdoctoral Fellowship to JJH (NSF 98-162, 0204082) en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher P. David Polly en
dc.relation.isversionof en
dc.rights This work may be copied, distributed, transmitted and adapted provided that this publication is attributed, the new work is not used for commercial purposes, and any derived works are distributed under the same or similar license to this one (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.subject vertebrae en
dc.subject taxon-free en
dc.subject Serpentes en
dc.subject paleoenvironment en
dc.subject geographic variation en
dc.subject ecomorphology en
dc.subject ecometrics en
dc.subject community morphology en
dc.subject climate en
dc.title The ecology of morphology: the ecometrics of locomotion and macroenvironment in North American snakes - Online Appendix en
dc.type Dataset en

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