5 years ago

Comparative phylogeography of two co-distributed but ecologically distinct rainbowfishes of far-northern Australia

Cynthia Riginos, Jeffrey O. Hanson, Andrew T. Mather, Lisa C. Pope
Aim To test the influence of historical and contemporary environment in shaping the genetic diversity of freshwater fauna we contrast genetic structure in two co-distributed, but ecologically distinct, rainbowfish; a habitat generalist (Melanotaenia splendida) and a habitat specialist (M. trifasciata). Location Fishes were sampled from far northern Australia (Queensland and Northern Territory). Methods We used sequence data from one mitochondrial gene and one nuclear gene to investigate patterns of genetic diversity in M. splendida and M. trifasciata to determine how differences in habitat preference and historical changes in drainage boundaries affected patterns of connectivity. Results Melanotaenia splendida showed high levels of genetic diversity and little population structure across its range. In contrast, M. trifasciata showed high levels of population structure. Whereas phylogeographic patterns differed, both species showed a strong relationship between geographical distance and genetic differentiation between populations. Melanotaenia splendida showed a shallower relationship with geographical distance, and genetic differentiation was best explained by stream length and a lower scaled ocean distance (11.98 times coast length). For M. trifasciata, genetic differentiation was best explained by overwater distance between catchments and ocean distance scaled at 1.16 × 106 times coast length. Main conclusions Connectivity of freshwater populations inhabiting regions periodically interconnected during glacial periods appears to have been affected by ecological differences between species. Species-specific differences are epitomized here by the contrast between co-distributed congeners with different habitat requirements: for the habitat generalist, M. splendida, there was evidence for greater historical genetic connectivity with oceans as a weaker barrier to gene exchange in contrast with the habitat specialist, M. trifasciata.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13117

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