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Data from: Postglacial recolonization of North America by spadefoot toads: integrating niche and corridor modeling to study species’ range dynamics over geologic time

Citation

Gherghel, Iulian; Martin, Ryan Andrew (2020), Data from: Postglacial recolonization of North America by spadefoot toads: integrating niche and corridor modeling to study species’ range dynamics over geologic time, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.f4qrfj6td

Abstract

Understanding the factors that shape species’ distributions is a key topic in biogeography. As climates change, species can either cope with these changes through evolution, plasticity or by shifting their ranges to track the optimal climatic conditions. Ecological niche modeling (ENM) is a widespread technique in biogeography that estimates the niche of the organism by using occurrences and environmental data to estimate species’ potential distributions. ENMs are often criticized for failing to take species’ dispersal abilities into consideration. Here, we attempt to fill this gap by combining ENMs with dispersal and corridor modeling to study the range dynamics of North American spadefoot toads (Scaphiopodidae) over the Holocene. We first estimated the current and past distributions of spadefoot toads and then estimated their past distributions from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to the present day. Then, we estimated how each taxon recolonized North American by using dispersal and corridor modeling. By combining these two modeling approaches we were able to 1) estimate the LGM refugia used by the North American spadefoot toads, 2) further refine these projections by estimating which of the putative LGM refugia contributed to the recolonization of North America via dispersal, and 3) estimate the relative influence of each LGM refugium to the current species’ distributions. The models were tested using previously published phylogeographic data, revealing a high degree of congruence between our models and the genetic data. These results suggest that combining ENMs and dispersal modeling over time is a promising approach to investigate both historical and future species’ range dynamics.

Methods

Data used to create the ecological niche models and corridors models.