Data from: Integration of conflict into integrative taxonomy: fitting hybridization in species delimitation of Mesocarabus (Coleoptera: Carabidae)
Andújar, Carmelo et al. (2014), Data from: Integration of conflict into integrative taxonomy: fitting hybridization in species delimitation of Mesocarabus (Coleoptera: Carabidae), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4g832
In species differentiation, characters do not usually diverge synchronously and there are also processes that effectively shuffle character states present in lineages descendant from a common ancestor. Species are thus expected to show some degree of incongruence among characters, and we argue that taxonomic delimitation actually benefits from integrative approaches and objective strategies dealing with character conflict. We illustrate the potential of exploiting conflict for species delimitation in a study-case of ground beetles of the subgenus Carabus (Mesocarabus), where traditional taxonomy fails to accurately delimit species. The molecular phylogenies of four mitochondrial and three nuclear genes, cladistic analysis of the aedeagus, ecological niche divergence, and morphometry of pronotal shape in altogether more than 500 specimens of Mesocarabus, show that none of these character sets are fully congruent with each other. For these data, a three-steps operational strategy is proposed for species delimitation by (1) delineating candidate species based on the integration of incongruence among conclusive lines of evidence, (2) corroborating candidate species with inconclusive lines of evidence, and (3) refining a final species proposal based on an integrated characterization of candidate species based on the evolutionary analysis of incongruence. This procedure provided a general understanding of the reticulate process of hybridization and introgression acting on Mesocarabus and generated the hypothesis of seven Mesocarabus species, including two putative hybrid lineages. Our work emphasizes the importance of incorporating critical analyses of character and phylogenetic conflict to infer both the evolutionary history and species boundaries through an integrative taxonomic approach.
Western Palearctic region