3 years ago

Phylogeography of the endemic grasshopper genus Betiscoides (Lentulidae) in the South African Cape Floristic Region

Phylogeography of the endemic grasshopper genus Betiscoides (Lentulidae) in the South African Cape Floristic Region
Vicariance and dispersal are two important processes shaping biodiversity patterns. The South African Cape Floristic Region (CFR) is known for its high biotic diversity and endemism. However, studies on the phylogeography of endemic invertebrates in this biodiversity hotspot are still scarce. Here, we present a phylogenetic study of the flightless grasshopper genus Betiscoides, which is endemic to the CFR and strongly associated with restio plants (Restionaceae). We hypothesized that the genus originated in the southwestern part of the CFR, that differentiation within the genus is mainly an effect of vicariance and that the three known species only represent a minor fraction of the real genetic diversity of the genus. We inferred the phylogeny based on sequences of three mitochondrial and two nuclear genes from 99 Betiscoides specimens collected across the CFR. Furthermore, we conducted a SDIVA analysis to detect distributions of ancestral nodes and the possible spatial origin of these lineages. Strong differentiation among genetic lineages was shown. The ancestor of this genus was most likely distributed in the southwestern CFR. Five major lineages were detected, three of which were ancestrally distributed in the southwestern CFR. The ancestors of the two other clades were distributed in the northern and eastern margins of the CFR. A total of 24 divergent evolutionary lineages were found, reflecting the geographical isolation of restio-dominated fynbos habitats. Dispersal played a more prominent role than expected in differentiation of Betiscoides. While the five main lineages were separated during a first phase via dispersal, differentiation occurred later and on smaller spatial scale, predominantly driven by isolation in montane refugia (i.e. vicariance). Our study also suggests that flightless insect taxa likely show high levels of differentiation in biodiversity hotspots with their taxonomy often being incomplete.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S105579031730711X

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