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Data from: Divergence history of the Carpathian and smooth newts modelled in space and time

Cite this dataset

ZIeliński, Piotr; Nadachowska-Brzyska, Krystyna; Dudek, Katarzyna; Babik, Wiesław (2016). Data from: Divergence history of the Carpathian and smooth newts modelled in space and time [Dataset]. Dryad.


Information about demographic history is essential for the understanding of the processes of divergence and speciation. Patterns of genetic variation within and between closely related species provide insights into the history of their interactions. Here, we investigated historical demography and genetic exchange between the Carpathian (Lissotriton montandoni, Lm) and smooth (L. vulgaris, Lv) newts. We combine an extensive geographical sampling and multilocus nuclear sequence data with the approximate Bayesian computation framework to test alternative scenarios of divergence and reconstruct the temporal and spatial pattern of gene flow between species. A model of recent (last glacial period) interspecific gene flow was favoured over alternative models. Thus, despite the relatively old divergence (4–6 mya) and presumably long periods of isolation, the species have retained the ability to exchange genes. Nevertheless, the low migration rates (ca. 10−6 per gene copy per generation) are consistent with strong reproductive isolation between the species. Models allowing demographic changes were favoured, suggesting that the effective population sizes of both species at least doubled as divergence reaching the current ca. 0.2 million in Lm and 1 million in Lv. We found asymmetry in rates of interspecific gene flow between Lm and one evolutionary lineage of Lv. We suggest that intraspecific polymorphism for hybrid incompatibilities segregating within Lv could explain this pattern and propose further tests to distinguish between alternative explanations. Our study highlights the importance of incorporating intraspecific genetic structure into the models investigating the history of divergence.

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Central Europe