Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: The Near East as a cradle of biodiversity: a phylogeography of banded newts (genus Ommatotriton) reveals extensive inter- and intraspecific genetic differentiation

Citation

van Riemsdijk, Isolde et al. (2018), Data from: The Near East as a cradle of biodiversity: a phylogeography of banded newts (genus Ommatotriton) reveals extensive inter- and intraspecific genetic differentiation, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4q08q

Abstract

The banded newt (genus Ommatotriton) is widely distributed in the Near East (Anatolia, Caucasus and the Levant) – an understudied region from the perspective of phylogeography. The genus is polytypic, but the number of species included and the phylogenetic relationships between them are not settled. We sequenced two mitochondrial and two nuclear DNA markers throughout the range of Ommatotriton. For mtDNA we constructed phylogenetic trees, estimated divergence times using fossil calibration, and investigated changes in effective population size with Bayesian skyline plots and mismatch analyses. For nuDNA we constructed phylogenetic trees and haplotype networks. Species trees were constructed for all markers and nuDNA only. Species distribution models were projected on current and Last Glacial Maximum climate layers. We confirm the presence of three Ommatotriton species: O. nesterovi, O. ophryticus and O. vittatus. These species are genetically distinct and their most recent common ancestor was dated at ∼25 Ma (Oligocene). No evidence of recent gene flow between species was found. The species show deep intraspecific genetic divergence, represented by geographically structured clades, with crown nodes of species dated ∼8-13 Ma (Miocene to Early Quaternary); evidence of long-term in situ evolution and survival in multiple glacial refugia. While a species tree based on nuDNA suggested a sister species relationship between O. vittatus and O. ophryticus, when mtDNA was included, phylogenetic relationships were unresolved, and we refrain from accepting a particular phylogenetic hypothesis at this stage. While species distribution models suggest reduced and fragmented ranges during the Last Glacial Maximum, we found no evidence for strong population bottlenecks. We discuss our results in in the light of other phylogeographic studies from the Near East. Our study underlines the important role of the Near East in generating and sustaining biodiversity.

Usage Notes

Location

Anatolia
Turkey
Levant
Near East