Evolutionary Diversification of the Lizard Genus Bassiana Scincidae across Southern AustraliaReport as inadecuate

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Relatively recent Plio-Pleistocene climatic variations had strong impacts on the fauna and flora of temperate-zone North America and Europe; genetic analyses suggest that many lineages were restricted to unglaciated refuges during this time, and have expanded their ranges since then. Temperate-zone Australia experienced less severe glaciation, suggesting that patterns of genetic structure among species may reflect older aridity-driven divergence events rather than Plio-Pleistocene thermally-mediated divergences. The lizard genus Bassiana Squamata, Scincidae contains three species that occur across a wide area of southern Australia including Tasmania, rendering them ideally-suited to studies on the impact of past climatic fluctuations.

Methodology-Principal Findings

We performed molecular phylogenetic and dating analyses using two partial mitochondrial genes ND2 and ND4 of 97 samples of Bassiana spp. Our results reveal a pattern of diversification beginning in the Middle Miocene, with intraspecific diversification arising from 5.7 to 1.7 million years ago in the Upper Miocene-Lower Pleistocene.


In contrast to the temperate-zone Northern Hemisphere biota, patterns of evolutionary diversification within southern Australian taxa appear to reflect geologically ancient events, mostly relating to east-west discontinuities imposed by aridity rather than as is the case in Europe and North America relatively recent recolonisation of northern regions from unglaciated refugia to the south.

Author: Sylvain Dubey , Richard Shine

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/


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