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      Reconciling paleodistribution models and comparative phylogeography in the Wet Tropics rainforest land snail Gnarosophia bellendenkerensis (Brazier 1875)

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          Abstract

          Comparative phylogeography has proved useful for investigating biological responses to past climate change and is strongest when combined with extrinsic hypotheses derived from the fossil record or geology. However, the rarity of species with sufficient, spatially explicit fossil evidence restricts the application of this method. Here, we develop an alternative approach in which spatial models of predicted species distributions under serial paleoclimates are compared with a molecular phylogeography, in this case for a snail endemic to the rainforests of North Queensland, Australia. We also compare the phylogeography of the snail to those from several endemic vertebrates and use consilience across all of these approaches to enhance biogeographical inference for this rainforest fauna. The snail mtDNA phylogeography is consistent with predictions from paleoclimate modeling in relation to the location and size of climatic refugia through the late Pleistocene-Holocene and broad patterns of extinction and recolonization. There is general agreement between quantitative estimates of population expansion from sequence data (using likelihood and coalescent methods) vs. distributional modeling. The snail phylogeography represents a composite of both common and idiosyncratic patterns seen among vertebrates, reflecting the geographically finer scale of persistence and subdivision in the snail. In general, this multifaceted approach, combining spatially explicit paleoclimatological models and comparative phylogeography, provides a powerful approach to locating historical refugia and understanding species' responses to them.

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          Most cited references24

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          Gene flow and the geographic structure of natural populations.

          M Slatkin (1987)
          There is abundant geographic variation in both morphology and gene frequency in most species. The extent of geographic variation results from a balance of forces tending to produce local genetic differentiation and forces tending to produce genetic homogeneity. Mutation, genetic drift due to finite population size, and natural selection favoring adaptations to local environmental conditions will all lead to the genetic differentiation of local populations, and the movement of gametes, individuals, and even entire populations--collectively called gene flow--will oppose that differentiation. Gene flow may either constrain evolution by preventing adaptation to local conditions or promote evolution by spreading new genes and combinations of genes throughout a species' range. Several methods are available for estimating the amount of gene flow. Direct methods monitor ongoing gene flow, and indirect methods use spatial distributions of gene frequencies to infer past gene flow. Applications of these methods show that species differ widely in the gene flow that they experience. Of particular interest are those species for which direct methods indicate little current gene flow but indirect methods indicate much higher levels of gene flow in the recent past. Such species probably have undergone large-scale demographic changes relatively frequently.
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            A Long Pollen Record from Lowland Amazonia: Forest and Cooling in Glacial Times

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              Perspective: gene divergence, population divergence, and the variance in coalescence time in phylogeographic studies.

              Molecular methods as applied to the biogeography of single species (phylogeography) or multiple codistributed species (comparative phylogeography) have been productively and extensively used to elucidate common historical features in the diversification of the Earth's biota. However, only recently have methods for estimating population divergence times or their confidence limits while taking into account the critical effects of genetic polymorphism in ancestral species become available, and earlier methods for doing so are underutilized. We review models that address the crucial distinction between the gene divergence, the parameter that is typically recovered in molecular phylogeographic studies, and the population divergence, which is in most cases the parameter of interest and will almost always postdate the gene divergence. Assuming that population sizes of ancestral species are distributed similarly to those of extant species, we show that phylogeographic studies in vertebrates suggest that divergence of alleles in ancestral species can comprise from less than 10% to over 50% of the total divergence between sister species, suggesting that the problem of ancestral polymorphism in dating population divergence can be substantial. The variance in the number of substitutions (among loci for a given species or among species for a given gene) resulting from the stochastic nature of DNA change is generally smaller than the variance due to substitutions along allelic lines whose coalescence times vary due to genetic drift in the ancestral population. Whereas the former variance can be reduced by further DNA sequencing at a single locus, the latter cannot. Contrary to phylogeographic intuition, dating population divergence times when allelic lines have achieved reciprocal monophyly is in some ways more challenging than when allelic lines have not achieved monophyly, because in the former case critical data on ancestral population size provided by residual ancestral polymorphism is lost. In the former case differences in coalescence time between species pairs can in principle be explained entirely by differences in ancestral population size without resorting to explanations involving differences in divergence time. Furthermore, the confidence limits on population divergence times are severely underestimated when those for number of substitutions per site in the DNA sequences examined are used as a proxy. This uncertainty highlights the importance of multilocus data in estimating population divergence times; multilocus data can in principle distinguish differences in coalescence time (T) resulting from differences in population divergence time and differences in T due to differences in ancestral population sizes and will reduce the confidence limits on the estimates. We analyze the contribution of ancestral population size (theta) to T and the effect of uncertainty in theta on estimates of population divergence (tau) for single loci under reciprocal monophyly using a simple Bayesian extension of Takahata and Satta's and Yang's recent coalescent methods. The confidence limits on tau decrease when the range over which ancestral population size theta is assumed to be distributed decreases and when tau increases; they generally exclude zero when tau/(4Ne) > 1. We also apply a maximum-likelihood method to several single and multilocus data sets. With multilocus data, the criterion for excluding tau = 0 is roughly that l tau/(4Ne) > 1, where l is the number of loci. Our analyses corroborate recent suggestions that increasing the number of loci is critical to decreasing the uncertainty in estimates of population divergence time.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                April 30 2002
                April 23 2002
                April 30 2002
                : 99
                : 9
                : 6112-6117
                Article
                10.1073/pnas.092538699
                122911
                11972064
                05247748-868e-4f52-8e74-72255bc44a4d
                © 2002
                Product
                Self URI (article page): http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.092538699

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