Ecological opportunity is a powerful driver of evolutionary diversification, and predicts rapid lineage and phenotypic diversification following colonisation of competitor-free habitats. Alternatively, topographic or environmental heterogeneity could be key to generating and sustaining diversity.
We investigate these two drivers of diversification in an Australian radiation of the gekkotan genus Gehyra. The species span two biomes, the monsoonal tropics and the arid zone, and use two main types of habitat: rocks and trees. The radiation is still not clearly understood, as the diversification occurred fairly recently, and the patterns of morphological diversity are inconsistent with those of the genetic data.
This research has been published in Evolution: Diversification across biomes in a continental lizard radiation