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Eaton, Deren (Ed.)Abstract Color polymorphism—two or more heritable color phenotypes maintained within a single breeding population—is an extreme type of intraspecific diversity widespread across the tree of life. Color polymorphism is hypothesized to be an engine for speciation, where morph loss or divergence between distinct color morphs within a species results in the rapid evolution of new lineages, and thus, color polymorphic lineages are expected to display elevated diversification rates. Multiple species in the lizard family Lacertidae are color polymorphic, making them an ideal group to investigate the evolutionary history of this trait and its influence on macroevolution. Here, we produce a comprehensive species-level phylogeny of the lizard family Lacertidae to reconstruct the evolutionary history of color polymorphism and test if color polymorphism has been a driver of diversification. Accounting for phylogenetic uncertainty with multiple phylogenies and simulation studies, we estimate an ancient origin of color polymorphism (111 Ma) within the Lacertini tribe (subfamily Lacertinae). Color polymorphism most likely evolved few times in the Lacertidae and has been lost at a much faster rate than gained. Evolutionary transitions to color polymorphism are associated with shifts in increased net diversification rate in this family of lizards. Taken together, our empirical results support long-standingmore »
All life on earth is linked by a shared evolutionary history. Even before Darwin developed the theory of evolution, Linnaeus categorized types of organisms based on their shared traits. We now know these traits derived from these species’ shared ancestry. This evolutionary history provides a natural framework to harness the enormous quantities of biological data being generated today. The Open Tree of Life project is a collaboration developing tools to curate and share evolutionary estimates (phylogenies) covering the entire tree of life (Hinchliff et al. 2015, McTavish et al. 2017). The tree is viewable at https://tree.opentreeoflife.org, and the data is all freely available online. The taxon identifiers used in the Open Tree unified taxonomy (Rees and Cranston 2017) are mapped to identifiers across biological informatics databases, including the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), NCBI, and others. Linking these identifiers allows researchers to easily unify data from across these different resources (Fig. 1). Leveraging a unified evolutionary framework across the diversity of life provides new avenues for integrative wide scale research. Downstream tools, such as R packages developed by the R OpenSci foundation (rotl, rgbif) (Michonneau et al. 2016, Chamberlain 2017) and others tools (Revell 2012), make accessing and combining thismore »