Camouflage in arid environments : the case of Sahara-Sahel desert rodents
Nokelainen, O., Sreelatha, L. B., Brito, J. C., Campos, J. C., Scott-Samuel, N. E., Valkonen, J. K., & Boratyński, Z. (2020). Camouflage in arid environments : the case of Sahara-Sahel desert rodents. Journal of Vertebrate Biology, 69(2), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.25225/jvb.20007
Published inJournal of Vertebrate Biology
DisciplineEkologia ja evoluutiobiologiaEvoluutiotutkimus (huippuyksikkö)Biologisten vuorovaikutusten huippututkimusyksikköEcology and Evolutionary BiologyCentre of Excellence in Evolutionary ResearchCentre of Excellence in Biological Interactions Research
© 2020 the Authors
Deserts and semi-deserts, such as the Sahara-Sahel region in North Africa, are exposed environments with restricted vegetation coverage. Due to limited physical surface structures, these open areas provide a promising ecosystem to understand selection for crypsis. Here, we review knowledge on camouflage adaptation in the Sahara-Sahel rodent community, which represents one of the best documented cases of phenotype-environment convergence comprising a marked taxonomic diversity. Through their evolutionary history, several rodent species from the Sahara-Sahel have repeatedly evolved an accurate background matching against visually-guided predators. Top-down selection by predators is therefore assumed to drive the evolution of a generalist, or compromise, camouflage strategy in these rodents. Spanning a large biogeographic extent and surviving repeated climatic shifts, the community faces extreme and heterogeneous selective pressures, allowing formulation of testable ecological hypotheses. Consequently, Sahara-Sahel rodents poses an exceptional system to investigate which adaptations facilitate species persistence in a mosaic of habitats undergoing climatic change. Studies of these widely distributed communities permits general conclusions about the processes driving adaptation and can give insights into how diversity evolves. ...
PublisherInstitute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Postdoctoral Researcher, AoF
Additional information about fundingO. Nokelainen was funded by the Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Research Fellow grant (#21000038821). Z. Boratyński was supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (PTDC/BIAECO/28158/2017, SFRH/BPD/84822/2012) and National Geographic society (NGS-53336R-19).
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Nokelainen, Ossi; Brito, José Carlos; Scott-Samuel, Nicholas E.; Valkonen, Janne K.; Boratyński, Zbyszek (University of Jyväskylä, Open Science Centre. email@example.com, 2020)
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