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      Sex-Biased Dispersal Obscures Species Boundaries in Integrative Species Delimitation Approaches.

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          Accurate delimitation of species is crucial for a stable taxonomy, which provides the foundation for the study of evolutionary biology, ecology, and essentially all biological disciplines. Several approaches toward impartial and repeatable taxonomic practices are available but all existing methods have potentially unacceptable shortcomings. In particular, problems can arise when the underlying model assumptions are violated, for instance, in the presence of reduced gene flow. This is observed in the context of sex-biased dispersal, which is a common but underappreciated feature in many groups of organisms. Previously, simulations have indicated that sex-biased dispersal may lead to erroneous estimations of the true species numbers. However, this phenomenon has never been examined using empirical data. We evaluate the bias introduced by extreme female philopatry on a range of de novo [GMYC, PTP, ABGD, statistical parsimony, trinomial distribution of triplets model (tr2)] and validation (STACEY, iBPP) approaches to species delimitation in the scarab beetle genus Pachypus. Since female philopatry exhibited in this genus in particular can affect mitochondrial gene flow, we compared the results from analyses of single loci, mitochondrial loci, nuclear loci and combined data, as well as the performance of morphometric data as a secondary data source in a fully integrative Bayesian framework. Large overestimation of species numbers was observed across all analyses of combined and mitochondrial DNA data sets, suggesting specimens from nearly every sampling location as separate species. The use of nuclear data resulted in more reasonable estimations of species boundaries, which were largely supported by morphometrics of linear measurements, while geometric morphometrics of body outlines resulted in stronger splitting. Simulations of population divergence with migration, corresponding to the biology of Pachypus, showed that female philopatry strongly increases reciprocal monophyly of mitochondrial markers and may substantially contribute to over-splitting in species delimitation. Robust results recovered using nuclear DNA and morphological data nevertheless enabled us to reach novel conclusions about species boundaries in Pachypus. Our findings suggest that mitochondrial DNA will be less suited to species delimitation in many cases, in particular in the presence of sex-biased dispersal.

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          Author and article information

          Syst Biol
          Systematic biology
          Oxford University Press (OUP)
          May 01 2019
          : 68
          : 3
          [1 ] Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Centre of Taxonomy and Evolutionary Research, Adenauerallee 160, 53113 Bonn, Germany.
          [2 ] Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Botany Division, University of Cagliari, viale Sant'Ignazio da Laconi 13, 09123, Cagliari (CA), Italy.
          [3 ] Strada dei Guazzi, 1/3, 61122 Pesaro (PU), Italy.
          [4 ] Università di Urbino, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomolecolari (DiSB), Via maggetti 22, 61029 Urbino (PU), Italy.
          [5 ] Via Zeffiro 8, 09130 Cagliari, Italy.
          [6 ] Museo di Storia Naturale, Santa Croce 1730, 30135 Venezia, Italy.
          [7 ] via Principe di Paternò 3, 90143 Palermo, Italy.
          [8 ] Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle, Route de Malagnou 1, 1208 Geneva, Switzerland.
          [9 ] ETH Zürich, D-BSSE, Mattenstrasse 26, 4058 Basel, Switzerland.
          [10 ] Dipartimento di Scienze, Università Roma Tre, Viale Marconi 446, 00146 Roma, Italy.
          © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

          Deep mitochondrial coalescence,integrative species delimitation,mitochondrial DNA,morphometrics,multispecies coalescent,nuclear DNA,sex-biased dispersal


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