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Flightlessness in insects enhances diversification and determines assemblage structure across whole communities

Citation

Salces-Castellano, Antonia et al. (2021), Flightlessness in insects enhances diversification and determines assemblage structure across whole communities, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.63xsj3v15

Abstract

Dispersal limitation has been recurrently suggested to shape both macroecological patterns and microevolutionary processes within invertebrates. However, because of potential interactions among biological, environmental, temporal, and spatial variables, causal links among flight-related traits, diversification and spatial patterns of community assembly remain elusive. Integrating genetic variation within species across whole insect assemblages, within a simplified spatial and environmental framework, can be used to reduce the impact of these potentially confounding variables. Here we used standardised sampling and mtDNA sequencing for a whole-community characterisation of the beetle fauna inhabiting a singular forested-habitat (laurel forest) within an oceanic archipelago setting (Canary Islands). The spatial structure of species assemblages together with species-level genetic diversity was compared at the archipelago and island scales for 104 winged and 110 wingless beetle lineages. We found that wingless beetle lineages have (i) smaller range sizes at the archipelago scale, (ii) lower representation in younger island communities, (iii) stronger population genetic structure, and (iv) greater spatial structuring of species assemblages between and within islands. Our results reveal that dispersal limitation is a fundamental trait driving diversity patterns at multiple hierarchical levels by promoting spatial diversification and affecting the spatial configuration of entire assemblages at both island and archipelago scales.

Usage Notes

The file Sequences contains all mtDNA sequences from the manuscript. The file README contains additional information for each individual.