Low phylogeographic structure of Rhinella arunco Anura: Bufonidae, an endemic amphibian from the Chilean Mediterranean hotspotReport as inadecuate

Low phylogeographic structure of Rhinella arunco Anura: Bufonidae, an endemic amphibian from the Chilean Mediterranean hotspot - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Zoological Studies

, 52:35

First Online: 07 October 2013Received: 01 September 2012Accepted: 14 May 2013


BackgroundThe Mediterranean zone of central Chile 30° to 38°S is one of the 25 diversity hotspots in the world. However, there are few phylogeographic studies which identify the factors that have influenced population diversification in the fauna of this area. In this study, we investigated the phylogeographic structure of Rhinella arunco, an anuran endemic to Mediterranean Chile, using 160 individuals from 23 localities representative of its entire distribution 32° to 38°S.

ResultsThe haplotype network revealed four haplogroups, three of which overlap geographically and only one of which has an exclusive geographic distribution. An analysis of molecular variance indicated that neither watershed limits nor the main rivers in the current distribution of this species have been important geographic barriers against the dispersion of individuals. Finally, the Geneland analysis showed three population units, one of which concurs with one of the haplogroups found in the haplotype network. Together, these analyses indicated a low level of phylogeographic structure for this species. On the other hand, the highest levels of intrapopulational genetic variation were concentrated in the central part of the distribution 33° to 34°S, which may indicate an effect of Pleistocene glaciations on the genetic diversity of the populations in the extreme south of its range.

ConclusionsThe low phylogeographic structure observed in R. arunco is a rarely documented pattern for amphibians and contrasts with the phylogeographic studies of other vertebrates which inhabit the same zone. This result may be attributed to a series of attributes of bufonids, related mainly to water retention and their reproductive biology, which have allowed them to disperse and colonize an enormous variety of environments.

KeywordsPhylogeography Central Chile Mitochondrial DNA Pleistocene glaciations Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1810-522X-52-35 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Dayana Vásquez - Claudio Correa - Luis Pastenes - R Eduardo Palma - Marco A Méndez

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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