Data from: Global analysis reveals that cryptic diversity is linked with habitat but not mode of life
Poulin, Robert; Perez-Ponce de Leon, Gerardo (2016), Data from: Global analysis reveals that cryptic diversity is linked with habitat but not mode of life, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1hj46
The ubiquity of genetically distinct, cryptic species is limiting any attempt to estimate local or global biodiversity as well as impeding efforts to conserve species or control pests and diseases. Environmental factors or biological traits promoting rapid diversification into morphologically similar species remain unclear. Here, using a meta-analysis of 1230 studies using DNA sequences to search for cryptic diversity in metazoan taxa, we test two hypotheses regarding the frequency of cryptic taxa based on mode of life and habitat. First, after correcting for study effort and accounting for higher taxonomic affinities and biogeographical region of origins, our results do not support the hypothesis that cryptic taxa are more frequent among parasitic than free-living taxa. Second, in contrast the results support the hypothesis that cryptic taxa are more common in certain habitats than others: for a given study effort, more cryptic taxa are found in freshwater than in terrestrial or marine taxa. These findings suggest that the greater heterogeneity and fragmentation of freshwater habitats may promote higher rates of genetic differentiation among its inhabitants, a general pattern with serious implications for freshwater conservation biology.