Data from: Hybridization during altitudinal range shifts: nuclear introgression leads to extensive cyto-nuclear discordance in the fire salamander
Pereira, Ricardo; Martínez-Solano, Iñigo; Buckley, David; Pereira, Ricardo J. (2016), Data from: Hybridization during altitudinal range shifts: nuclear introgression leads to extensive cyto-nuclear discordance in the fire salamander, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.j10r6
Ecological models predict that, in the face of climate change, taxa occupying steep altitudinal gradients will shift their distributions, leading to the contraction or extinction of the high-elevation (cold-adapted) taxa. However, hybridization between eco-morphologically divergent taxa commonly occurs in nature and may lead to alternative evolutionary outcomes, such as genetic merger or gene flow at specific genes. We evaluate this hypothesis by studying patterns of divergence and gene flow across three replicate contact zones between high- and low-elevation ecomorphs of the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) that have experienced altitudinal range shifts over the current postglacial period. Strong population structure with high genetic divergence in mitochondrial DNA suggests that vicariant evolution has occurred over several glacial-interglacial cycles, and that it has led to cryptic differentiation within ecomorphs. In current parapatric boundaries we do not find evidence for local extinction and replacement upon postglacial expansion. Instead parapatric taxa recurrently show discordance between mitochondrial and nuclear markers, suggesting nuclear mediated gene flow across contact zones. Isolation with migration models support this hypothesis by showing significant gene flow across all five parapatric boundaries. Together, our results suggest that, while some genomic regions, such as the mitochondria, may follow morphologic species traits and retreat to isolated mountain tops, other genomic regions, such as nuclear markers, may flow across parapatric boundaries, sometimes leading to a complete genetic merger. We show that despite high ecologic and morphologic divergence over prolonged periods of time, hybridization allows for evolutionary outcomes alternative to extinction and replacement of taxa in response to climate change.