Studies of biodiversity in the Maghreb have revealed high genetic diversity and divergent genetic lineages among many taxa including squamates. Geographic barriers such as the Atlas Mountains are one of the key factors promoting genetic differentiation and the high levels of endemism. The lizard-fingered gecko Saurodactylus brosseti is endemic to Morocco. Its range includes both sides of the Atlas Mountains, and although high diversity was previously identified within the species, much of the range was unsampled. To understand the evolutionary and biogeographical history of this species, we used mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data from 64 populations sampled across the entire species range. We employed phylogenetic methods based on gene trees and species trees as well as a time calibrated Bayesian genealogy and coalescent species delimitation approaches. We uncovered four highly divergent and allopatric mitochondrial lineages that did not share haplotypes at variable nuclear loci, suggesting the four groups have been evolving independently since the Miocene, according to our molecular dating estimates. These results coupled with the geographic pattern of genetic diversity suggest a possible role of the Atlas Mountains for the divergence observed between the four lineages of S. brosseti, while each lineage probably later underwent several episodes of fragmentation followed by (re-) expansion during Pleistocene climatic oscillations. Bayesian species delimitation analysis indicates that the four lineages may well be distinct species but we suggest that detailed morphological analyses are needed prior to taxonomic changes. The four lineages represent ancient independent evolutionary units, and deserve conservation management as distinct entities.
Evolutionary Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 13, 2017
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera