Historical demography of four gecko species specializing in boulder cave habitat: Implications in the evolutionary dead end hypothesis and conservation

Hung N. Nguyen, Chia Wei Lu, Jui Hua Chu, Larry Lee Grismer, Chih Ming Hung*, Si Min Lin

*此作品的通信作者

研究成果: 雜誌貢獻期刊論文同行評審

5 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)

摘要

Specialization in narrow ecological niches may not only help species to survive in competitive or unique environments but also contribute to their extermination over evolutionary time. Although the “evolutionary dead end” hypothesis has long been debated, empirical evidence from species with detailed information on niche specialization and evolutionary history remains rare. Here we use a group of four closely related Cnemaspis gecko species that depend highly on granite boulder caves in the Mekong Delta to investigate the potential impact of ecological specialization on their evolution and population dynamics. Isolated by unsuitable floodplain habitats, these boulder-dwelling geckos are among the most narrowly distributed Squamata in the world. We applied several coalescence-based approaches combined with the RAD-seq technique to estimate their divergence times, gene flow and demographic fluctuations during the speciation and population differentiation processes. Our results reveal long-term population shrinkage in the four geckos and limited gene flow during their divergence. The results suggest that the erosion and fragmentation of the granite boulder hills have greatly impacted population divergence and declines. The habitat specialization of these geckos has led to fine-scaled speciation in these granite rocky hills; in contrast, specialization might also have pushed these species toward the edge of extinction. Our study also emphasizes the conservation urgency of these vulnerable, cave-dependent geckos.

原文英語
頁(從 - 到)772-784
頁數13
期刊Molecular Ecology
28
發行號4
DOIs
出版狀態已發佈 - 2019 二月 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 生態學、進化論、行為學與系統學
  • 遺傳學

指紋

深入研究「Historical demography of four gecko species specializing in boulder cave habitat: Implications in the evolutionary dead end hypothesis and conservation」主題。共同形成了獨特的指紋。

引用此