Recent speciation and limited phylogeographic structure in Mixophyes frogs from the Australian Wet Tropics

Oza, Anuja U., Lovett, Katharine E., Williams, Stephen E., and Moritz, Craig (2012) Recent speciation and limited phylogeographic structure in Mixophyes frogs from the Australian Wet Tropics. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 62 (1). pp. 407-413.

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Through a combination of macroecological, paleoecological, and phylogeographical analyses, the rainforests of the Australian Wet Tropics (AWT have emerged as a useful model for understanding sensitivity of species to past climatic change and, hence, for predicting vulnerability to future change. To extend the ecological breadth of comparative phylogeographic analyses, we investigate a clade of myobatrachid frogs, Mixophyes, a genus of large, stream-breeding but terrestrial frogs, three species of which are endemic to rainforests of the AWL Here we (i) combine mtDNA, allozyme, and morphological data to refine knowledge of the geographic and environmental distribution of each taxon, (ii) resolve relationships among species, and (iii) use mtDNA phylogeography to infer responses of the three taxa to late-Pleistocene and Holocene climatic change. Each of the three species (Mixophyes carbinensis, Mixophyes coggeri, and Mixophyes schevilli) is effectively diagnosed by mtDNA, with the two small-bodied, allopatric species (M. carbinensis and M. schevilli) being sister-taxa. Mixophyes have a very different history from other AWT amphibians, with more recent speciation (net divergences <5%) and much lower and geographically unstructured mtDNA diversity within each species. The combination of low diversity (0(II) < 0.36%) and strong signals of recent population expansion (Fu's Fs < 0) suggests very high sensitivity to climate-driven rainforest dynamics, perhaps due to their large body size, low population density, and their requirement for both wet forest-floor litter and streams suitable for breeding. The results further emphasize the heterogeneity of species' responses to climate change and suggest that species dependent on multiple habitat types could be especially vulnerable.

Item ID: 27450
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-9513
Keywords: Mixophyes, Australian Wet Tropics, phylogeography, phylogenetics, speciation
Funders: Earthwatch Institute (EI), Australian Research Council (ARC), James Cook University Research Advancement Program (JCU), National Science Foundation (NSF)
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2013 09:39
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060306 Evolutionary Impacts of Climate Change @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060309 Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 10%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
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