Genetic diversity within species provides the raw material for adaptation and evolution. Just as regions of high species diversity are conservation targets, identifying regions containing high genetic diversity and divergence within and among populations may be important to protect future evolutionary potential. When multiple co-distributed species show spatial overlap in high genetic diversity and divergence, these regions can be considered evolutionary hotspots. We mapped spatial population genetic structure for 17 animal species across the Mojave...
Mobile elements are powerful agents of genomic evolution and can be exceptionally informative markers for investigating species and population-level evolutionary history. While several studies have utilized retrotransposon-based insertional polymorphisms to resolve phylogenies, few population studies exist outside of humans. Endogenous retroviruses are LTR-retrotransposons derived from retroviruses that have become stably integrated in the host genome during past infections and transmitted vertically to subsequent generations. They offer valuable insight into host-virus co-evolution and a unique perspective...
Data from: Evolutionary dynamics of a rapidly receding southern range boundary in the threatened California Red-Legged Frog (Rana draytonii)Jonathan Q. Richmond, Kelly R. Barr, Adam R. Backlin, Amy G. Vandergast & Robert N. Fisher
Populations forming the edge of a species range are often imperiled by isolation and low genetic diversity, with proximity to human population centers being a major determinant of edge stability in modern landscapes. Since the 1960s, the California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) has undergone extensive declines in heavily urbanized southern California, where the range edge has rapidly contracted northward while shifting its cardinal orientation to an east-west trending axis. We studied the genetic structure and...
Environmental DNA (eDNA) methods for detecting and estimating abundance of aquatic species are emerging rapidly, but little is known about how processes such as secretion rate, environmental degradation, and time since colonization or extirpation from a given site affect eDNA measurements. Using stream-dwelling salamanders and quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis, we conducted three experiments to assess eDNA: (1) production rate, (2) persistence time under different temperature and light conditions, and (3) detectability and concentration through time...
Data from: Transcriptome resources for the frogs Lithobates clamitans and Pseudacris regilla, emphasizing antimicrobial peptides and conserved loci for phylogeneticsLaura S. Robertson & Robert Scott Cornman
We developed genetic resources for two North American frogs, Lithobates clamitans and Pseudacris regilla, widespread native amphibians that are potential indicator species of environmental health. For both species, mRNA from multiple tissues was sequenced using 454 technology. De novo assemblies with Mira3 resulted in 50,238 contigs (N50 = 687 bp) and 48,213 contigs (N50 = 686 bp) for L. clamitans and P. regilla, respectively, after clustering with CD-Hit-EST and purging contigs below 200 bp. We...
“Space-for-time” substitution is widely used in biodiversity modeling to infer past or future trajectories of ecological systems from contemporary spatial patterns. However, the foundational assumption—that drivers of spatial gradients of species composition also drive temporal changes in diversity—rarely is tested. Here, we empirically test the space-for-time assumption by constructing orthogonal datasets of compositional turnover of plant taxa and climatic dissimilarity through time and across space from Late Quaternary pollen records in eastern North America, then...
Data from: Current approaches using genetic distances produce poor estimates of landscape resistance to interindividual dispersalTabitha A. Graves, Paul Beier & Jeffrey Andrew Royle
Landscape resistance reflects how difficult it is for genes to move across an area with particular attributes (e.g., land cover, slope). An increasingly popular approach to estimate resistance uses Mantel and partial Mantel tests or causal modeling to relate observed genetic distances to effective distances under alternative sets of resistance parameters. Relatively few alternative sets of resistance parameters are tested, leading to relatively poor coverage of the parameter space. Although this approach does not explicitly...
One of the most powerful drivers of speciation in plants is pollinator-mediated disruptive selection, which leads to the divergence of floral traits adapted to the morphology and behavior of different pollinators. Despite the widespread importance of this speciation mechanism, its genetic basis has been explored in only a few groups. Here, we characterize the genetic basis of pollinator-mediated divergence of two species in genus Ipomopsis, I. guttata and I. tenuifolia, using quantitative trait locus (QTL)...
Successful bird migration can depend on individual learning, social learning, and innate navigation programs. Using 8 years of data on migrating whooping cranes, we were able to partition genetic and socially learned aspects of migration. Specifically, we analyzed data from a reintroduced population wherein all birds were captive bred and artificially trained by ultralight aircraft on their first lifetime migration. For subsequent migrations, in which birds fly individually or in groups but without ultralight escort,...
Adaptation to divergent environments creates and maintains biological diversity, but we know little about the importance of different agents of ecological divergence. Coevolution in obligate mutualisms has been hypothesized to drive divergence, but this contention has rarely been tested against alternative ecological explanations. Here, we use a well-established example of coevolution in an obligate pollination mutualism, Yucca brevifolia and its two pollinating yucca moths, to test the hypothesis that divergence in this system is the...
United States Geological Survey10
University of Idaho2
Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre1
University of Memphis1
University of Wisconsin-Madison1
Northern Arizona University1
Humboldt State University1
Utah Valley University1
Montana State University1
University of Florida1