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Phylogenomics and fossil data inform the systematics and geographic range evolution of a diverse Neotropical ant lineage

Citation

Blanchard, Benjamin et al. (2022), Phylogenomics and fossil data inform the systematics and geographic range evolution of a diverse Neotropical ant lineage, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4b8gthtcg

Abstract

Recent advances in phylogenomics allow for the use of large amounts of genetic information in phylogenetic inference. Ideally, the increased resolution and accuracy of such inferences facilitate improved understanding of macroevolutionary processes. Here, we integrate ultraconserved elements (UCEs) with fossil and biogeographic range data to explore diversification and geographic range evolution in the diverse turtle ant genus Cephalotes. We focus on the potential role of the uplift of the Panamanian land bridge and the putative ephemeral GAARlandia land bridge linking South America and the Antilles in shaping the evolution in this group. Our phylogenetic analyses provide new resolution to the backbone of the turtle ant phylogeny. We further found that a majority of geographic range shifts between the South America and Central America regions were temporally consistent with the development of the Panamanian land bridge, while we did not find support for the GAARlandia land bridge. Additionally, we did not infer any shifts in diversification rates associated with our focal land bridges, or any other historical events (we inferred a single diversification rate regime across the genus). Our findings highlight the impact of the Panamanian land bridge for Cephalotes geographic range evolution as well as the influence of taxonomic sampling on macroevolutionary inferences. Keywords: Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Biogeography, Biology, Evolution, Phylogeny, Systematics

Methods

See associated manuscript for dataset collection information.

Usage Notes

UCE contig files (including .zip for trimmed-unfiltered contigs and .zip for trimmed-filtered contigs [75% taxon complete contigs]), tree files, data, and R scripts associated with manuscript by Price et al. (submitted) on Cephalotes diversification and biogeography.

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: NSF DEB 1900357

National Science Foundation, Award: NSF DEB 1442256