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Friends or foes? Plant-animal coevolutionary history is driven by both mutualistic and antagonistic interactions
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  • Lisieux Fuzessy,
  • Juan Antonio Balbuena,
  • Omer Nevo,
  • Jadelys Tonos,
  • Bastien Papinot,
  • Daniel Park,
  • Daniel Sol,
  • Kim Valenta,
  • Onja Razafindratsima,
  • Miguel Verdu
Lisieux Fuzessy
UNESP Campus de Rio Claro

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Juan Antonio Balbuena
Universitat de València
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Omer Nevo
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
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Jadelys Tonos
University of California Berkeley
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Bastien Papinot
University of Iceland
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Daniel Park
Purdue University
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Daniel Sol
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Kim Valenta
University of Florida
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Onja Razafindratsima
University of California Berkeley
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Miguel Verdu
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Coevolution played a central role in shaping biodiversity. However, coevolutionary events driving reciprocal diversification between interacting partners lack empirical evidences. Examples of diversification arising from mutualisms and antagonisms at different trophic levels are scarce, which limits our understanding on how complex relationships between species arise within communities. By adopting a cophylogenetic framework, we investigated whether congruence in plant-lemur phylogenies are driven by mutualisms and antagonisms in Madagascar, where endemic species have evolved within a unique isolated biogeographical context. Although we found weak support for coevolution, this is not to say that lemurs and plants did not share evolutionary history. Weak cophylogenetic signals do not necessarily imply lack of co-diversification. Rather, our results suggest that vertebrates and plants influenced each other evolution, but in a multi-specific context where the cophylogenetic process leaded to spatio-temporal asymmetries and shifts between periods of coevolution and independent evolution, ultimately resulting in a weak, continuous and diffuse process.