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  • Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://repositorio.uti.edu.ec//handle/123456789/3067
    Title: Divergence of tropical pitvipers promoted by independent colonization events of dry montane Andean habitats
    Authors: Salazar-Valenzuela, David
    Kuch, Ulrich
    Torres-Carvajal, Omar
    Valencia, Jorge
    Gibbs, H. Lisle
    Issue Date: 2019
    Publisher: Journal of Biogeography. Volume 46, Issue 8, Pages 1826 - 1840
    Abstract: A poorly explored feature of the origin and maintenance of Neotropical biodiversity is how the evolutionary dynamics of colonization and differentiation in relation to lowland and highland habitats has impacted lineage formation. Most speciation models for this region have focused on vicariant events, whereas the need to assess the influence of demographic processes has been recognized only recently. We evaluate if the origin of Andean montane lineages of terciopelo pitvipers is explained by either of two historical processes that represent distinct phylogeographic mechanisms: differentiation by isolation within the highlands or different dispersal events from the lowlands. Location: Western Ecuador. Taxon: Terciopelo pitvipers (Bothrops asper species complex). Methods: We use genomic data and genetic clustering analyses, evaluation of historical migration between genetic clusters and demographic model selection to investigate recent diversification events in South America using a vertebrate group rarely explored in phylogeographic studies: tropical Andean snakes. Specifically, the origin of two Ecuadorian montane lineages of terciopelo pitvipers was evaluated given ambiguous phylogenetic relationships with the presumably ancestral Pacific lowland lineage. Results: Discrepancies of evolutionary relationships previously obtained with tree-like methods are resolved through the use of modelling approaches. We found strong support for the independent origin of montane lineages based on topologies inferred by maximum-likelihood trees and modelling approaches that take into account possible gene flow. This suggests dispersal rather than in-situ differentiation as the most likely mechanism by which the montane linages originated. Main conclusions: Recent large-scale studies have found support for identifying dispersal events as important drivers of diversification in the Neotropical region. We contribute to these ideas by identifying a fine-scale case in a rarely studied group of animals -Andean snakes- in which river valleys acted as an entrance for the upward colonization of montane dry habitats and subsequent ecological diversification.
    URI: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jbi.13661
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