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A test of the riverine barrier hypothesis in the largest subtropical river basin in the neotropics


Campagna, Leonardo et al. (2020), A test of the riverine barrier hypothesis in the largest subtropical river basin in the neotropics, Dryad, Dataset,


The riverine barrier hypothesis proposes that large rivers represent geographic barriers to gene flow for terrestrial organisms, leading to population differentiation and ultimately allopatric speciation. Here we asses for the first time if the subtropical Paraná-Paraguay River system in the Del Plata basin, second in size among South American drainages, acts as a barrier to gene flow for birds. We analyzed the degree of mitochondrial and nuclear genomic differentiation in seven species with known subspecies divided by the Paraná-Paraguay River axis. Only one species showed genetic differentiation concordant with the current river channel, but another five species have an East/West genetic split broadly coincident with the Paraná River’s dynamic paleo-channel, suggesting this fluvial axis has had a past role in shaping present-day genetic structure. Moreover, dating analyses show that these splits have been asynchronous, with species responding differently to the riverine barrier. Comparisons informed by the geological history of the Paraná River and its influence on the ecological differences among ecoregions in the study area further bolster the finding that responses to this geographic barrier have been species-specific.


ddRADseq data assembled in Stacks version 1.48


Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Award: PIP 112 201301 00803 CO,PUE 229 201801 00001 CO

Fondo para la Investigación Científica y Tecnológica, Award: PICT 2014‐2057,PICT 2014‐2154,PICT 2014‐3397,PICT 2016‐3712