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Creators/Authors contains: "Naka, Luciano N."

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  1. Abstract

    Understanding the factors that govern variation in genetic structure across species is key to the study of speciation and population genetics. Genetic structure has been linked to several aspects of life history, such as foraging strategy, habitat association, migration distance, and dispersal ability, all of which might influence dispersal and gene flow. Comparative studies of population genetic data from species with differing life histories provide opportunities to tease apart the role of dispersal in shaping gene flow and population genetic structure. Here, we examine population genetic data from sets of bird species specialized on a series of Amazonian habitat types hypothesized to filter for species with dramatically different dispersal abilities: stable upland forest, dynamic floodplain forest, and highly dynamic riverine islands. Using genome‐wide markers, we show that habitat type has a significant effect on population genetic structure, with species in upland forest, floodplain forest, and riverine islands exhibiting progressively lower levels of structure. Although morphological traits used as proxies for individual‐level dispersal ability did not explain this pattern, population genetic measures of gene flow are elevated in species from more dynamic riverine habitats. Our results suggest that the habitat in which a species occurs drives the degree of population genetic structuring via its impact on long‐term fluctuations in levels of gene flow, with species in highly dynamic habitats having particularly elevated gene flow. These differences in genetic variation across taxa specialized in distinct habitats may lead to disparate responses to environmental change or habitat‐specific diversification dynamics over evolutionary time scales.

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  2. Abstract

    South American dry forests have a complex and poorly understood biogeographic history. Based on the fragmented distribution of many Neotropical dry forest species, it has been suggested that this biome was more widely distributed and contiguous under drier climate conditions in the Pleistocene. To test this scenario, known as the Pleistocene Arc Hypothesis, we studied the phylogeography of the Rufous‐fronted Thornbird (Phacellodomus rufifrons), a widespread dry forest bird with a disjunct distribution closely matching that of the biome itself. We sequenced mtDNA and used ddRADseq to sample 7,167 genome‐wide single‐nucleotide polymorphisms from 74P. rufifronsindividuals across its range. We found low genetic differentiation over two prominent geographic breaks — particularly across a 1,000 km gap between populations in Bolivia and Northern Peru. Using demographic analyses of the joint site frequency spectrum, we found evidence of recent divergence without subsequent gene flow across those breaks. By contrast, parapatric morphologically distinct populations in northeastern Brazil show high genetic divergence with evidence of recent gene flow. These results, in combination with our paleoclimate species distribution modelling, support the idea that currently disjunct patches of dry forest were more connected in the recent past, probably during the Middle and Late Pleistocene. This notion fits the major predictions of the Pleistocene Arc Hypothesis and illustrates the importance of comprehensive genomic and geographic sampling for examining biogeographic and evolutionary questions in complex ecosystems like Neotropical dry forests.

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