Phylogeography of a mountain lizard species: An ancient fragmentation process mediated by riverine barriers in the Liolaemus monticola complex (Sauria: Liolaemidae)

FERNANDO LEON TORRES PEREZ, Madeleine Lamborot, Dusan Boric-Bargetto, Cristian E. Hernández, Juan Carlos Ortiz, R. Eduardo Palma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Liolaemus monticola is a mountain lizard species, with a widespread distribution from central Chile that displays several highly polymorphic chromosomal races. Our study determined the phylogeographic structuring and relationships among three chromosomal races of L. monticola in Chile. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of the cytochrome b gene were examined using the following phylogenetic methods: maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, Bayesian inference and nested clade phylogeographic analyses (NCPAs). These methods revealed two major monophyletic clades (north and south) in the L. monticola species, with non-overlapping geographical locations separated by the Maipo and Yeso rivers (except one hybrid, from a zone of secondary contact). The NCPA showed that a past fragmentation process likely resulted in the separation of the two clades. The southern clade includes all samples of the 'Southern, 2n = 34' race; the northern clade is comprised of all remaining derived chromosomal races: the 'Northern, 2n = 38-40 and the Multiple Fission, 2n = 42-44' races. Our results support the hypothesis of a geographical and genetic split resulting from allopatric processes caused by riparian barriers acting over a long time period. The inferred biogeographical scenario shows that populations have moved from the south to the north using the Andean mountains as the primary corridor for dispersal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-81
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2007

Keywords

  • Chile
  • Cytochrome b gene
  • Liolaemus
  • Mountain lizard
  • Past fragmentation
  • Phylogeography

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