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Phylogeographic analyses point to long-term survival on the spot in micro-endemic Lycian salamanders

  • Lycian salamanders (genus Lyciasalamandra) constitute an exceptional case of microendemism of an amphibian species on the Asian Minor mainland. These viviparous salamanders are confined to karstic limestone formations along the southern Anatolian coast and some islands. We here study the genetic differentiation within and among 118 populations of all seven Lyciasalamandra species across the entire genus’ distribution. Based on circa 900 base pairs of fragments of the mitochondrial 16SrDNA and ATPase genes, we analysed the spatial haplotype distribution as well as the genetic structure and demographic history of populations. We used 253 geo-referenced populations and CHELSA climate data to infer species distribution models which we projected on climatic conditions of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Within all but one species, distinct phyloclades were identified, which only in parts matched current taxonomy. Most haplotypes (78%) were private to single populations. Sometimes population genetic parameters showed contradicting results, although in several cases they indicated recent population expansion of phyloclades. Climatic suitability of localities currently inhabited by salamanders was significantly lower during the LGM compared to recent climate. All data indicated a strong degree of isolation among Lyciasalamandra populations, even within phyloclades. Given the sometimes high degree of haplotype differentiation between adjacent populations, they must have survived periods of deteriorated climates during the Quaternary on the spot. However, the alternative explanation of male biased dispersal combined with a pronounced female philopatry can only be excluded if independent nuclear data confirm this result.

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Author:Michael Veith, Bayram Göçmen, Konstantinos SotiropoulosGND, Karolos EleftherakosGND, Stefan LöttersORCiDGND, Olaf GodmannGND, Mert KarışORCiD, Anil OğuzGND, Sarah EhlGND
Parent Title (English):PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Place of publication:San Francisco, California
Editor:Roberta Cimmaruta
Document Type:Article
Date of completion:2020/01/13
Date of publication:2020/01/13
Publishing institution:Universität Trier
Contributing corporation:The publication was funded by the Open Access Fund of Universität Trier and the German Research Foundation (DFG)
Release Date:2021/03/08
GND Keyword:Anatolien / Süd; Genetische Variabilität; Salamander
Issue / no.:15 / 1
Number of pages:22
Institutes:Fachbereich 6 / Raum- und Umweltwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz 4.0 International

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