Abstract While evolutionary trends have long received much attention and have been widely disputed, new methods are now allowing the testing of directional hypotheses with increased rigor. Here, we test a general hypothesis about the way many kinds of discrete characters are thought to evolve, termed oligomerization. This is the tendency for serial structures (such as arthropod body and appendage segments) or armature (such as spines) to evolve primarily through loss and fusion. Focusing on the Crustacea, we use maximum likelihood methods to test for directional evolution in a large sample (> 500) of discrete traits, analyzed against molecular‐based phylogenies. We find evidence for a significant trend toward trait loss, in accordance with the reduction principle. However, this trend is far from ubiquitous, with many characters exhibiting a reconstructed bias toward gains. These results suggest that caution must be used before drawing conclusions about which taxa are “primitive” or about the directionality of morphological shifts in the absence of phylogenetic analysis. Nevertheless, oligomerization—as a trend rather than a law—may be an important process that influences evolutionary trajectories from both morphological and functional perspectives.
Evolution – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2006
Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera