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J Hered. 2013 Jan-Feb;104(1):72-85. doi: 10.1093/jhered/ess079. Epub 2012 Nov 1.

Genealogy and Demographic History of a Widespread Amphibian throughout Indochina.

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1
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Abstract

Relatively little is known about spatial patterns of cryptic diversity in tropical species and the processes that generate them. Few studies examine the geographic distribution of genetic lineages in Southeast Asia, an area hypothesized to harbor substantial cryptic diversity. We investigated the evolutionary history of Asian tree frogs of the Polypedates leucomystax complex (n = 172) based on 1800 bp of the mtDNA genes ND1 and cytochrome b and tested hypotheses pertaining to climate, geology, and dispersal patterns. Analyses revealed substantial genetic diversity and lineage divergence throughout the region with evidence for widespread sympatric lineages and a general north versus south clustering. Relaxed molecular clock analysis and tests for demographic expansion identified an initial cladogenesis during the Miocene with subsequent Plio-Pleistocene diversification, with the former corresponding to periods of increased aridity and the onset of monsoonal weather systems. Rates of diversification were relatively constant until the Early Pleistocene when rates increased exponentially. We found equivocal evidence for isolation-by-distance and a potential role of some landscape features as partial barriers to dispersal. Finally, our analyses showed that divergence between insular and mainland populations occurred before Homo sapiens colonized Southeast Asia, suggesting that historical human-mediated dispersal did not drive insular diversification. Our results suggested that demographic expansion in the Late Pleistocene resulted in widespread sympatric lineages in the P. leucomystax complex throughout southern China and Indochina and further clarified the evolutionary history of lineages within P. leucomystax.

PMID:
23125408
DOI:
10.1093/jhered/ess079
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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