Data from: Discordant patterns of genetic and phenotypic differentiation in five grasshopper species co-distributed across a microreserve network
Ortego, Joaquín; García-Navas, Vicente; Noguerales, Víctor; Cordero, Pedro Javier (2015), Data from: Discordant patterns of genetic and phenotypic differentiation in five grasshopper species co-distributed across a microreserve network, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3nr2f
Conservation plans can be greatly improved when information on the evolutionary and demographic consequences of habitat fragmentation is available for several co-distributed species. Here, we study spatial patterns of phenotypic and genetic variation among five grasshopper species that are co-distributed across a network of microreserves but show remarkable differences in dispersal-related morphology (body size and wing length), degree of habitat specialization and extent of fragmentation of their respective habitats in the study region. In particular, we tested the hypothesis that species with preferences for highly fragmented microhabitats show stronger genetic and phenotypic structure than co-distributed generalist taxa inhabiting a continuous matrix of suitable habitat. We also hypothesized a higher resemblance of spatial patterns of genetic and phenotypic variability among species that have experienced a higher degree of habitat fragmentation due to their more similar responses to the parallel large-scale destruction of their natural habitats. In partial agreement with our first hypothesis, we found that genetic structure, but not phenotypic differentiation, was higher in species linked to highly fragmented habitats. We did not find support for congruent patterns of phenotypic and genetic variability among any studied species, indicating that they show idiosyncratic evolutionary trajectories and distinctive demographic responses to habitat fragmentation across a common landscape. This suggests that conservation practices in networks of protected areas require detailed ecological and evolutionary information on target species in order to focus management efforts on those taxa that are more sensitive to the effects of habitat fragmentation.