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Data from: Speciation below ground: tempo and mode of diversification in a radiation of endogean ground beetles


Andújar, Carmelo et al. (2017), Data from: Speciation below ground: tempo and mode of diversification in a radiation of endogean ground beetles, Dryad, Dataset,


Dispersal is a critical factor determining the spatial scale of speciation, which is constrained by the ecological characteristics and distribution of a species' habitat and the intrinsic traits of species. Endogean taxa are strongly affected by the unique qualities of the below-ground environment and its effect on dispersal, and contrasting reports indicate either high dispersal capabilities favoured by small body size and mediated by passive mechanisms, or low dispersal due to restricted movement and confinement inside the soil. We studied a species rich endogean ground beetle lineage, Typhlocharina, including three genera and more than 60 species, as a model for the evolutionary biology of dispersal and speciation in the deep soil. A time calibrated molecular phylogeny generated from >400 individuals was used to delimit candidate species, to study the accumulation of lineages through space and time by species-area-age relationships, and to determine the geographical structure of the diversification using the relationship between phylogenetic and geographic distances across the phylogeny. Our results indicated a small spatial scale of speciation in Typhlocharina and low dispersal capacity combined with sporadic long distance, presumably passive dispersal events that fuelled the speciation process. Analysis of lineage growth within Typhlocharina revealed a richness plateau correlated with the range of distribution of lineages, suggesting a long-term species richness equilibrium mediated by density dependence through limits of habitat availability. The interplay of area and age dependent processes ruling the lineage diversification in Typhlocharina may serve as a general model for the evolution of high species diversity in endogean mesofauna.

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Iberian Peninsula
West Mediterranean region