A genomic assessment of species boundaries and hybridization in a group of highly polymorphic anoles (distichus species complex)

Daniel J. MacGuigan, Anthony J. Geneva, Richard E. Glor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Delimiting young species is one of the great challenges of systematic biology, particularly when the species in question exhibit little morphological divergence. Anolis distichus, a trunk anole with more than a dozen subspecies that are defined primarily by dewlap color, may actually represent several independent evolutionary lineages. To test this, we utilized amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) genome scans and genetic clustering analyses in conjunction with a coalescent-based species delimitation method. We examined a geographically widespread set of samples and two heavily sampled hybrid zones. We find that genetic divergence is associated with a major biogeographic barrier, the Hispaniolan paleo-island boundary, but not with dewlap color. Additionally, we find support for hypotheses regarding colonization of two Hispaniolan satellite islands and the Bahamas from mainland Hispaniola. Our results show that A. distichus is composed of seven distinct evolutionary lineages still experiencing a limited degree of gene flow. We suggest that A. distichus merits taxonomic revision, but that dewlap color cannot be relied upon as the primary diagnostic character.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3657-3671
Number of pages15
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume7
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Keywords

  • AFLP
  • Anolis
  • biogeography
  • dewlap
  • distichus
  • species delimitation

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