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Data from: A signature of dynamic biogeography: enclaves indicate past species replacement


Wielstra, Ben; Burke, Terence; Butlin, Roger K.; Arntzen, J. W. (2017), Data from: A signature of dynamic biogeography: enclaves indicate past species replacement, Dryad, Dataset,


Understanding how species have replaced each other in the past is important to predicting future species turnover. While past species replacement is difficult to detect after the fact, the process may be inferred from present-day distribution patterns. Species with abutting ranges sometimes show a characteristic distribution pattern, where a section of one species range is enveloped by that of the other. Such an enclave could indicate past species replacement: when a species is partly supplanted by a competitor, but a population endures locally while the invading species moves around and past it, an enclave forms. If the two species hybridize and backcross, the receding species is predicted to leave genetic traces within the expanding one under a scenario of species replacement. By screening dozens of genes in hybridizing crested newts, we uncover genetic remnants of the ancestral species, now inhabiting an enclave, in the range of the surrounding invading species. This independent genetic evidence supports the past distribution dynamics we predicted from the enclave. We suggest that enclaves provide a valuable tool in understanding historical species replacement, which is important because a major conservation concern arising from anthropogenic climate change is increased species replacement in the future.

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