Understanding the processes that shape genetic diversity by either promoting or preventing population divergence can help identify geographic areas that either facilitate or limit gene flow. Furthermore, broadly distributed species allow us to understand how biogeographic and ecogeographic transitions affect gene flow. We investigated these processes using genomic data in the Northern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria coerulea), which is widely distributed in Western North America across diverse ecoregions (California Floristic Province and Pacific Northwest) and mountain ranges (Sierra Nevada, Coastal Ranges, and Cascades). We collected single-nucleotide polymorphism data from 120 samples of E. coerulea. Biogeographic analyses of squamate reptiles with similar distributions have identified several shared diversification patterns that provide testable predictions for E. coerulea, including deep genetic divisions in the Sierra Nevada, demographic stability of southern populations, and recent post-Pleistocene expansion into the Pacific Northwest. We use genomic data to test these predictions by estimating the structure, connectivity, and phylogenetic history of populations. At least 10 distinct populations are supported, with mixed-ancestry individuals situated at most population boundaries. A species tree analysis provides strong support for the early divergence of populations in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and recent diversification into the Pacific Northwest. Admixture and migration analyses detect gene flow among populations in the Lower Cascades and Northern California, and a spatial analysis of gene flow identified significant barriers to gene flow across both the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges. The distribution of genetic diversity in E. coerulea is uneven, patchy, and interconnected at population boundaries. The biogeographic patterns seen in E. coerulea are consistent with predictions from co-distributed species.
Catastrophic events, such as volcanic eruptions, can have profound impacts on the demographic histories of resident taxa. Due to its presumed effect on biodiversity, the Pleistocene eruption of super‐volcano Toba has received abundant attention. We test the effects of the Toba eruption on the diversification, genetic diversity, and demography of three co‐distributed species of parachuting frogs (Genus
- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Molecular Ecology
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- p. 2994-3009
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Baldauf, Sandra (Ed.)Abstract The southwestern and central United States serve as an ideal region to test alternative hypotheses regarding biotic diversification. Genomic data can now be combined with sophisticated computational models to quantify the impacts of paleoclimate change, geographic features, and habitat heterogeneity on spatial patterns of genetic diversity. In this study, we combine thousands of genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) loci with mtDNA sequences (ND1) from the Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) to quantify relative support for different catalysts of diversification. Phylogenetic and clustering analyses of the GBS data indicate support for at least three primary populations. The spatial distribution of populations appears concordant with habitat type, with desert populations in AZ and NM showing the largest genetic divergence from the remaining populations. The mtDNA data also support a divergent desert population, but other relationships differ and suggest mtDNA introgression. Genotype–environment association with bioclimatic variables supports divergence along precipitation gradients more than along temperature gradients. Demographic analyses support a complex history, with introgression and gene flow playing an important role during diversification. Bayesian multispecies coalescent analyses with introgression (MSci) analyses also suggest that gene flow occurred between populations. Paleo-species distribution models support two southern refugia that geographically correspond to contemporary lineages. We find that divergence times are underestimated and population sizes are overestimated when introgression occurred and is ignored in coalescent analyses, and furthermore, inference of ancient introgression events and demographic history is sensitive to inclusion of a single recently admixed sample. Our analyses cannot refute the riverine barrier or glacial refugia hypotheses. Results also suggest that populations are continuing to diverge along habitat gradients. Finally, the strong evidence of admixture, gene flow, and mtDNA introgression among populations suggests that P. cornutum should be considered a single widespread species under the General Lineage Species Concept.more » « less
The drivers of genetic diversity in Amazonia, the most species‐rich set of ecosystems on Earth, are still incompletely understood. Species from distinct Amazonian ecosystems have unique biogeographic histories that will reflect regional landscape and climatic drivers of genetic diversity. We studied bird species from patchy Amazonian white‐sand ecosystems (WSE) to evaluate the occurrence of shared biogeographic patterns to better understand the complex environmental and landscape history of Amazonia and its biodiversity.
Northern South America; Amazonia.
We sequenced Ultra‐conserved Elements (UCEs) from 177 samples of seven bird species associated with WSE that have overlapping ranges. We used the SNP matrices and sequence data to estimate genetic structure and migration surfaces using ‘conStruct’ and
eems, performed model‐selection to obtain the most probable demographic histories on ‘PipeMaster ’and implemented analyses of shared demography with ecoevolity. Results
Shallow genetic structure patterns varied among species. The Amazon river was the only barrier shared among them. Population structure dates to no more than 450,000 years ago. Nine geographically structured populations showed signals of population size changes and eight of these occur in Northern Amazonia. Population expansion was inferred at two distinct times: ~100,000 and ~ 50,000 years ago. The timing of co‐expanding populations is consistent with differences in habitat preference, as species that prefer dense scrubby to forested vegetation expanded more recently compared to species that prefer open vegetation.
WSE species responded in concert to environmental and landscape changes that occurred in the relatively recent past. Population expansions were likely driven by the genesis of new WSE patches and a return to wetter conditions after glacial periods. Pleistocene climatic cycles affected the distribution and dynamics of open vegetation habitats in Amazonia, especially in the Northern region, driving genetic diversity and demographic patterns of its associated biota.
We used genome‐scale sampling to assess the phylogeography of a group of topminnows in the
Fundulus notatusspecies complex. Two of the species have undergone extensive range expansions resulting in broadly overlapping distributions, and sympatry within drainages has provided opportunities for hybridization and introgression. We assessed the timing and pattern of range expansion in the context of late Pleistocene–Holocene drainage events and evaluated the evidence for introgressive hybridization between species. Location
Central and southern United States including drainages of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Plain and portions of the Mississippi River drainage in and around the Central Highlands.
Fundulus, subgenus Zygonectes— Fundulus notatus, Fundulus olivaceus, Fundulus euryzonus. Methods
We sampled members of the
F. notatusspecies complex throughout their respective ranges, including numerous drainage systems where species co‐occur. We collected genome‐wide single nucleotide polymorphisms ( SNPs) using the genotype‐by‐sequencing ( GBS) method and subjected data to population genetic analyses to infer the population histories of both species, including explicit tests for admixture and introgression. The methods employed included STRUCTURE, principal coordinates analysis, TreeMix and approximate Bayesian computation. Results
Genetic data are presented for 749 individuals sampled from 14
F. notatus, 20 F. olivaceusand 2 F. euryzonuspopulations. Members of the species complex differed in phylogeographic structure, with F. notatusexhibiting geographic clusters corresponding to Pleistocene coastal drainages and F. olivaceuscomparatively lacking in phylogeographic structure. Evidence for interspecific introgression varied by drainage. Main conclusions
F. notatusand F. olivaceusexhibited contrasting patterns of lineage diversity among coastal drainages, indicating interspecific differences in their Pleistocene southern refugia. Phylogeographic patterns in both species indicated that range expansions into the northern limits of contemporary distributions coincided with and continued subsequent to the Last Glacial Maximum. There was evidence of introgression between species in some, but not all drainages where the species co‐occur, in a pattern that is correlated with previous estimates of hybridization rates.
Divergence is often ephemeral, and populations that diverge in response to regional topographic and climatic factors may not remain reproductively isolated when they come into secondary contact. We investigated the geographical structure and evolutionary history of population divergence within
Sceloporus occidentalis(western fence lizard), a habitat generalist with a broad distribution that spans the major biogeographical regions of Western North America. We used double digest RAD sequencing to infer population structure, phylogeny and demography. Population genetic structure is hierarchical and geographically structured with evidence for gene flow between biogeographical regions. Consistent with the isolation–expansion model of divergence during Quaternary glacial–interglacial cycles, gene flow and secondary contact are supported as important processes explaining the demographic histories of populations. Although populations may have diverged as they spread northward in a ring‐like manner around the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Ranges, there is strong evidence for gene flow among populations at the northern terminus of the ring. We propose the concept of an “ephemeral ring species” and contrast S. occidentaliswith the classic North American ring species, Ensatina eschscholtzii. Contrary to expectations of lower genetic diversity at northern latitudes following post‐Quaternary‐glaciation expansion, the ephemeral nature of divergence in S. occidentalishas produced centres of high genetic diversity for different reasons in the south (long‐term stability) vs. the north (secondary contact).