Contrasting Phylogenetic and Diversity Patterns in Octodontoid Rodents and a New Definition of the Family Abrocomidae
VERZI, DIEGO H.; OLIVARES, A. ITATÍ; MORGAN, CECILIA C.; ALVAREZ, ALICIA
JOURNAL OF MAMMALIAN EVOLUTION
Lugar: Berlin; Año: 2016 vol. 23 p. 93 - 115
Octodontoidea is the most species-rich clade among hystricomorph rodents. Based on a combined parsimony analysis of morphological and molecular data of extinct and extant species, we analyze the history of South American octodontoids and propose ages of divergence older than interpreted so far. Early Abrocomidae are recognized for the first time, and a new definition of the family is provided. Traditionally accepted fossil-based times of origin for the southern clades are reinterpreted as later stages of differentiation markedly uncoupled from the origin, differentiation implying specializations for open environments as shown in a morphospace of skull variation. Origin of crown groups is also strongly uncoupled from origin of clades as a consequence of extinction of deep lineages. In the resulting diversity pattern of modern southern clades of octodontoids, the combination of greater disparity, less content of evolutionary history, and lower taxonomic diversity, compared to their northern counterparts, appears at first counterintuitive. We propose that primary components of diversity derived from evolutionary transformation or anagenesis, on the one hand, and from cladogenesis and extinction, on the other, should not be considered associated, or at least not necessarily. Certain patterns of relationships between these distinct components could be driven by environmental dynamics. Like environments, octodontoid diversity would have been more stable in northern South America, whereas in the south, both strong adaptive change and extinction would have been triggered by emerging derived environments.