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The role of environment and core-margin effects on range-wide phenotypic variation in a montane grasshopper

AuthorsNoguerales, Víctor ; García-Navas, Vicente ; Cordero, Pedro J. ; Ortego, Joaquín
KeywordsPhenotypic divergence
Gene flow
Geometric morphometric
Local adaptation
Core-margin effects
Divergent selection
Issue Date2016
PublisherEuropean Society of Evolutionary Biology
John Wiley & Sons
CitationJournal of Evolutionary Biology 29(11): 2129-2142 (2016)
AbstractThe integration of genetic information with ecological and phenotypic data constitutes an effective approach to gain insight into the mechanisms determining interpopulation variability and the evolutionary processes underlying local adaptation and incipient speciation. Here, we use the Pyrenean Morales grasshopper (Chorthippus saulcyi moralesi) as study system to (i) analyse the relative role of genetic drift and selection in range-wide patterns of phenotypic differentiation and (ii) identify the potential selective agents (environment, elevation) responsible for variation. We also test the hypothesis that (iii) the development of dispersal-related traits is associated with different parameters related to population persistence/turnover, including habitat suitability stability over the last 120 000 years, distance to the species distribution core and population genetic variability. Our results indicate that selection shaped phenotypic differentiation across all the studied morphological traits (body size, forewing length and shape). Subsequent analyses revealed that among-population differentiation in forewing length was significantly explained by a temperature gradient, suggesting an adaptive response to thermoregulation or flight performance under contrasting temperature regimes. We found support for our hypothesis predicting a positive association between the distance to the species distribution core and the development of dispersal-related morphology, which suggests an increased dispersal capability in populations located at range edges that, in turn, exhibit lower levels of genetic variability. Overall, our results indicate that range-wide patterns of phenotypic variation are partially explained by adaptation in response to local environmental conditions and differences in habitat persistence between core and peripheral populations.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/jeb.12915
e-issn: 1420-9101
issn: 1010-061X
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