High levels of diversity uncovered in a widespread nominal taxon: Continental phylogeography of the neotropical tree frog dendropsophus minutus

Marcelo Gehara, Andrew J. Crawford, Victor G.D. Orrico, Ariel Rodríguez, Stefan Lötters, Antoine Fouquet, Lucas S. Barrientos, Francisco Brusquetti, Ignacio De La Riva, Raffael Ernst, Giuseppe Gagliardi Urrutia, Frank Glaw, Juan M. Guayasamin, Monique Hölting, Martin Jansen, Philippe J.R. Kok, Axel Kwet, Rodrigo Lingnau, Mariana Lyra, Jiří MoravecJosé P. Pombal, Fernando J.M. Rojas-Runjaic, Arne Schulze, J. Celsa Señaris, Mirco Solé, Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues, Evan Twomey, Celio F.B. Haddad, Miguel Vences, Jörn Köhler

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120 Citas (Scopus)


Species distributed across vast continental areas and across major biomes provide unique model systems for studies of biotic diversification, yet also constitute daunting financial, logistic and political challenges for data collection across such regions. The tree frog Dendropsophus minutus (Anura: Hylidae) is a nominal species, continentally distributed in South America, that may represent a complex of multiple species, each with a more limited distribution. To understand the spatial pattern of molecular diversity throughout the range of this species complex, we obtained DNA sequence data from two mitochondrial genes, cytochrome oxidase I (COI) and the 16S rhibosomal gene (16S) for 407 samples of D. minutus and closely related species distributed across eleven countries, effectively comprising the entire range of the group. We performed phylogenetic and spatially explicit phylogeographic analyses to assess the genetic structure of lineages and infer ancestral areas. We found 43 statistically supported, deep mitochondrial lineages, several of which may represent currently unrecognized distinct species. One major clade, containing 25 divergent lineages, includes samples from the type locality of D. minutus. We defined that clade as the D. minutus complex. The remaining lineages together with the D. minutus complex constitute the D. minutus species group. Historical analyses support an Amazonian origin for the D. minutus species group with a subsequent dispersal to eastern Brazil where the D. minutus complex originated. According to our dataset, a total of eight mtDNA lineages have ranges >100,000 km2. One of them occupies an area of almost one million km2 encompassing multiple biomes. Our results, at a spatial scale and resolution unprecedented for a Neotropical vertebrate, confirm that widespread amphibian species occur in lowland South America, yet at the same time a large proportion of cryptic diversity still remains to be discovered.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículoA2527
PublicaciónPLoS ONE
EstadoPublicada - 10 sep. 2014
Publicado de forma externa


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