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Award Detail

Awardee:RESEARCH FOUNDATION FOR THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, THE
Doing Business As Name:SUNY at Stony Brook
PD/PI:
  • Liliana M Davalos Alvarez
  • (631) 413-7417
  • liliana.davalos@stonybrook.edu
Award Date:01/28/2010
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 258,489
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 258,489
  • FY 2011=$94,675
  • FY 2010=$84,450
  • FY 2012=$79,364
Start Date:03/01/2010
End Date:02/28/2014
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.074
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Collaborative Research: Phylogeny and rates of evolution in an ecologically hyperdiverse mammalian radiation (Chiroptera: Noctilionoidea)
Federal Award ID Number:0949759
DUNS ID:804878247
Parent DUNS ID:020657151
Program:Systematics & Biodiversity Sci
Program Officer:
  • Simon Malcomber
  • (703) 292-8227
  • smalcomb@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:WEST 5510 FRK MEL LIB
City:Stony Brook
State:NY
ZIP:11794-0001
County:Stony Brook
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:SUNY at Stony Brook
Street:WEST 5510 FRK MEL LIB
City:Stony Brook
State:NY
ZIP:11794-0001
County:Stony Brook
Country:US
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

Noctilionoid bats comprise more than 200 species that span nearly the entire ecological diversity of land mammals. They range from tiny insectivores and nectarivores to large carnivores, and even vampire bats. This superfamily provides an unparalleled system for understanding how, when, and where bats evolved new diets, changed roosting habits and developed different kinds of echolocation. This project will use DNA sequences and comparison of morphological variations to reconstruct evolutionary relationships among these bats, including the fossils of >20 extinct species. Together with powerful methods for estimating the timing of historical events, this extensive fossil series will provide a timeline for investigating patterns and processes of ecological adaptation, speciation, and extinction across all species. This project will mentor and train postgraduate, graduate, and undergraduate students in molecular and morphological laboratory techniques and research methods. The data generated during the course of this study -- including photographs and DNA sequences -- will be freely available to the public through existing databases and online repositories heavily used by educators at all levels. Extensive documentation of morphological data through Morphobank will facilitate future research. Finally, this project will provide a robust framework for exploring the mechanisms driving ecological and species diversity in a hyperdiverse group of mammals.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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E. R. Dumont, L. M. Davalos, A. Goldberg, C. C. Voigt, Katja Rex, Sharlene E. Santana "Morphological innovation, diversification and the invasion of a new adaptive zone" Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, v.279, 2012, p.1797. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.2005 

Dumont, E.R.*, L.M. Dávalos*, A. Goldberg, S.E. Santana, K. Rex, and C.C. Voigt "Morphological innovation, diversification and the invasion of a new adaptive zone" Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, v.279, 2012, p.1797-1805. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.2005 

Dumont, E. R.;Davalos, L. M.;Goldberg, A.;Voigt, C. C.;Katja Rex;Sharlene E. Santana; "Morphological innovation, diversification and the invasion of a new adaptive zone" Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, v., 2011, p.. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.2005 

R. Geeta, Liliana M. Davalos, Andre Levy, Lynn Bohs, Mathew Lavin, Klaus Mummenhoff, Neelima Sinha, Martin F. Wojciechowski "Keeping it simple: flowering plants tend to retain, and revert to, simple leaves" New Phytologist, v.193, 2012, p.481. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03951.x 

Geeta, R.;Davalos, Liliana M.;Levy, Andre;Bohs, Lynn;Lavin, Mathew;Mummenhoff, Klaus;Sinha, Neelima;Wojciechowski, Martin F.; "Keeping it simple: flowering plants tend to retain, and revert to, simple leaves" New Phytologist, v., 2011, p.. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03951.x 

Dumont, E. R.*, K. Samadevam, I. Grosse, O.M. Warsi, B. Baird, and L.M. Dávalos*. "Selection for Mechanical Advantage Underlies Multiple Cranial Optima in New World Leaf-Nosed Bats" Evolution, v.68, 2014, p.. doi:10.1111/evo.12358 

Dávalos, L.M., and A.L. Russell "Deglaciation explains bat extinction in the Caribbean" Ecology and Evolution, v.2, 2012, p.1-7. doi:10.1002/ece3.399 

Dávalos, L.M.*, A.L. Cirranello*, J.H. Geisler, and N.B. Simmons "Understanding phylogenetic incongruence: lessons from phyllostomid bats" Biological Reviews, v.84, 2012, p.991-1041. doi:10.1111/j.1469-185X.2012.00240.x 

Davalos, L.M., A.L. Russell "Deglaciation Explains Bat Extinction in the Caribbean" Ecology and Evolution, v.2, 2012, p.1. doi:10.1002/ece3.399 

Liliana M. Davalos, Andrea L. Cirranello, Jonathan H. Geisler, Nancy B. Simmons "Understanding phylogenetic incongruence: lessons from Phyllostomid bats" Biological Reviews, v.87, 2012, p.991. doi:10.1111/j.1469-185X.2012.00240.x 

Duncan, R.P., F. Husnik, J.T. Van Leuven, D.G. Gilbert, L.M. Dávalos, J.P. McCutcheon, A.C.C. Wilson "Dynamic recruitment of amino acid transporters to the insect/symbiont interface" Molecular Ecology, v.23, 2014, p.1608?1623. doi:10.1111/mec.12627 

Hayden, S., M. Bekaert, A. Goodbla, W.J. Murphy, L.M. Dávalos*, and E.C. Teeling* "A Cluster of Olfactory Receptor Genes Linked to Frugivory in Bats" Molecular Biology and Evolution, v.31, 2014, p.917-927. doi:10.1093/molbev/msu043 

Geeta, R., L. M. Dávalos, A. Levy, L. Bohs, M. Lavin, K. Mummenhoff, N. Sinha, and M. F. Wojciechowski "Keeping it simple: flowering plants tend to retain, and revert to, simple leaves" New Phytologist, v.193, 2012, p.481-493. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03951.x 

Núñez-novas, Miguel S. and León, Yolanda M. and Mateo, Jeannette and Dávalos, Liliana M. "Records of the Cave-Dwelling Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) of Hispaniola with an Examination of Seasonal Variation in Diversity" Acta Chiropterologica, v.18, 2016, p.. doi:10.3161/15081109ACC2016.18.1.016 Citation details  

Corthals, Angelique and Koller, Antonius and Martin, Dwight W. and Rieger, Robert and Chen, Emily I. and Bernaski, Mario and Recagno, Gabriella and Dávalos, Liliana M. and Drews, Steven J. "Detecting the Immune System Response of a 500 Year-Old Inca Mummy" PLoS ONE, v.7, 2012, p.. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041244 Citation details  

Dávalos, L.M. and Turvey, S. "West Indian Mammals The Old, the New, and the Recently Extinct" Bones, Clones, and Biomes: An Extended History of Recent Neotropical Mammals, v., 2012, p.. Citation details  

Dumont, E. R. and Davalos, L. M. and Goldberg, A. and Santana, S. E. and Rex, K. and Voigt, C. C. "Morphological innovation, diversification and invasion of a new adaptive zone" Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, v.279, 2012, p.. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.2005 Citation details  

Geeta, R. and Dávalos, Liliana M. and Levy, André and Bohs, Lynn and Lavin, Mathew and Mummenhoff, Klaus and Sinha, Neelima and Wojciechowski, Martin F. "Keeping it simple: flowering plants tend to retain, and revert to, simple leaves" New Phytologist, v.193, 2012, p.. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03951.x Citation details  

Dávalos, Liliana M. and Russell, Amy L. "Deglaciation explains bat extinction in the Caribbean" Ecology and Evolution, v.2, 2012, p.. doi:10.1002/ece3.399 Citation details  

Dávalos, Liliana M. and Cirranello, Andrea L. and Geisler, Jonathan H. and Simmons, Nancy B. "Understanding phylogenetic incongruence: lessons from phyllostomid bats" Biological Reviews, v.87, 2012, p.. doi:10.1111/j.1469-185X.2012.00240.x Citation details  

Yohe, Laurel R. and Velazco, Paúl M. and Rojas, Danny and Gerstner, Beth E. and Simmons, Nancy B. and Dávalos, Liliana M. "Bayesian hierarchical models suggest oldest known plant-visiting bat was omnivorous" Biology Letters, v.11, 2015, p.. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2015.0501 Citation details  

Davies, Kalina T.J. and Tsagkogeorga, Georgia and Bennett, Nigel C. and Dávalos, Liliana M. and Faulkes, Christopher G. and Rossiter, Stephen J. "Molecular evolution of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptors in long-lived, small-bodied mammals" Gene, v.549, 2014, p.. doi:10.1016/j.gene.2014.07.061 Citation details  

Dávalos, Liliana M. and Russell, Amy L. "Sex-biased dispersal produces high error rates in mitochondrial distance-based and tree-based species delimitation" Journal of Mammalogy, v.95, 2014, p.. doi:10.1644/14-MAMM-A-107 Citation details  

Davalos, L. M. and Velazco, P. M. and Warsi, O. M. and Smits, P. D. and Simmons, N. B. "Integrating Incomplete Fossils by Isolating Conflicting Signal in Saturated and Non-Independent Morphological Characters" Systematic Biology, v.63, 2014, p.. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syu022 Citation details  

Dumont, Elizabeth R. and Samadevam, Krishna and Grosse, Ian and Warsi, Omar M. and Baird, Brandon and Davalos, Liliana M. "SELECTION FOR MECHANICAL ADVANTAGE UNDERLIES MULTIPLE CRANIAL OPTIMA IN NEW WORLD LEAF-NOSED BATS: CRANIAL OPTIMA IN NEW WORLD LEAF-NOSED BATS" Evolution, v.68, 2014, p.. doi:10.1111/evo.12358 Citation details  

Hayden, S. and Bekaert, M. and Goodbla, A. and Murphy, W. J. and Davalos, L. M. and Teeling, E. C. "A Cluster of Olfactory Receptor Genes Linked to Frugivory in Bats" Molecular Biology and Evolution, v.31, 2014, p.. doi:10.1093/molbev/msu043 Citation details  

Herrera, James P. and Dávalos, Liliana M. "Phylogeny and divergence times of lemurs inferred with recent and ancient fossils in the tree" Systematic Biology, v., 2016, p.. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syw035 Citation details  

Rojas, Danny and Warsi, Omar M. and Dávalos, Liliana M. "Bats (Chiroptera: Noctilionoidea) Challenge a Recent Origin of Extant Neotropical Diversity" Systematic Biology, v.65, 2016, p.. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syw011 Citation details  


Project Outcomes Report

Disclaimer

This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content.

One of the biggest puzzles in evolution is why some groups of organisms evolve many species with different ecological adaptations while others are much less diverse. Noctilionoid bats are among the most ecologically diverse mammals on the planet. These bats comprise 200 living species, including species that are specialized to eat insects, other animals (including frogs, lizards, birds, and other bats), fish, fruit, nectar, pollen, and even blood (vampire bats). Over 20 extinct, ecologically distinctive noctilionoid bats are known, and their evolutionary relationships were largely unexplored. This project sought to determine how, why, and when this ecological diversity evolved through a series of studies of gene sequences, anatomy, fossils, and diet. We described 6 new living species of bats and 2 new fossil species, and generated the most complete evolutionary tree ever developed for noctilionoids using data from 8 genes. Because genetic data cannot be obtained from fossil species, we also included information on anatomy of the teeth in our analyses. Teeth fossilize well and provide information about diet, but they also change quickly over evolutionary time, and animals with similar diets independently evolve similar features. We developed new analytical methods to correct for these possible biases when inferring evolutionary trees. Using these methods, we were able to place fragmentary fossils in the evolutionary tree for noctilionoid bats, providing firm dates for many diversification events, and discovering for the first time the evolutionary relationships of key Miocene fossils from South America. Evolutionary analyses of diet, skull shape, and bite force showed that the evolution of a skull shape that enables a strong bite allowed New World Leaf-nosed bats (the most diverse family of noctilionoid bats) to expand their diet to hard fruits, leading to an explosive increase in species numbers. This new shape was a low, broad skull that allowed even small bats to produce the strong bites needed to eat hard fruits. Since there were no nocturnal competitors for this resource when the new skull shape evolved, we propose the access to these new plant resources constitutes a new adaptive zone—a set of ecological resources that populations can move into through evolutionary adaptation. As soon as this new skull shape evolved, about 15 million years ago, many new species evolved rapidly to include more and more fruits in their diets. Subsequent analyses of the evolution of the skulls of New World Leaf-nosed bats coupled with an engineering model that was able to mimic skull shape and estimate physical properties revealed three distinct skull types. Each of these were defined by how well they could transfer mechanical force, and corresponding to adaptive zones determined by nectar, animals and most fruits, and hard fruits. Additional studies of genes involved in sensory systems showed that there are distinctive patterns of olfactory receptors (responsible for the sense of smell) among bats that specialize in eating fruit. The distinctive pattern has arisen twice, once among New World Leaf-nosed bats that feed primarily on figs, and another among Old World Fruit bats. Although the kinds of olfactory receptors involved are similar, the distinctive repertoire has arisen in different ways. This suggests different, independent mechanisms shaping this part of the genome in response to the challenge of finding fruit in the twilight and dark. Our findings illustrate the impact of the evolution of new traits in shaping the diversity of ecological functions and species on Earth.

 

This project contributed to the research training of many young scientists including 7 high school students, 12 undergraduates, 6 graduate students, and 2 postdoctoral researchers. In addition, several project participants helped to design and run a day-long digital-learning prog...

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