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Geographical and ecological drivers of mitonuclear genetic divergence in a Mediterranean grasshopper

AuthorsOrtego, Joaquín ; Noguerales, Víctor ; Cordero, Pedro J.
Environmental niche modelling
Mitonuclear discordance
Issue Date2017
PublisherSpringer Nature
CitationEvolutionary Biology 44(4): 505-521 (2017)
AbstractThe study of the neutral and/or selective processes driving genetic variation in natural populations is central to determine the evolutionary history of species and lineages and understand how they interact with different historical and contemporary components of landscape heterogeneity. Here, we combine nuclear and mitochondrial data to study the processes shaping genetic divergence in the Mediterranean esparto grasshopper (Ramburiella hispanica). Our analyses revealed the presence of three main lineages, two in Europe that split in the Early-Middle Pleistocene and one in North Africa that diverged from the two European ones after the Messinian. Lineage-specific potential distribution models and tests of environmental niche differentiation suggest that the phylogeographic structure of the species was driven by allopatric divergence due to the re-opening of the Gibraltar strait at the end of the Messinian (Europe–Africa split) and population fragmentation in geographically isolated Pleistocene climatic refugia (European split). Although we found no evidence for environment as an important driver of genetic divergence at the onset of lineage formation, our analyses considering the spatial distribution of populations and different aspects of landscape composition suggest that genetic differentiation at mitochondrial loci was largely explained by environmental dissimilarity, whereas resistance-based estimates of geographical distance were the only predictors of genetic differentiation at nuclear markers. Overall, our study shows that although historical factors have largely shaped concordant range-wide patterns of mitonuclear genetic structure in the esparto grasshopper, different contemporary processes (neutral gene flow vs. environmental-based selection) seem to be governing the spatial distribution of genetic variation in the two genomes.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s11692-017-9423-x
issn: 0071-3260
e-issn: 1934-2845
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