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Data from: Population structure within an alpine archipelago: strong signature of past climate change in the New Zealand rock wren (Xenicus gilviventris)

Citation

Weston, Kerry A.; Robertson, B. C. (2015), Data from: Population structure within an alpine archipelago: strong signature of past climate change in the New Zealand rock wren (Xenicus gilviventris), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.g44c1

Abstract

Naturally subdivided populations such as those occupying high-altitude habitat patches of the ‘alpine archipelago’ can provide significant insight into past biogeographical change and serve as useful models for predicting future responses to anthropogenic climate change. Among New Zealand's alpine taxa, phylogenetic studies support two major radiations: the first correlating with geological forces (Pliocene uplift) and the second with climatic processes (Pleistocene glaciations). The rock wren (Xenicus gilviventris) is a threatened alpine passerine belonging to the endemic New Zealand wren family (Acanthisittidae). Rock wren constitute a widespread, naturally fragmented population, occurring in patches of suitable habitat over c. 900 m in altitude throughout the length of the South Island, New Zealand. We investigated the relative role of historical geological versus climatic processes in shaping the genetic structure of rock wren (N = 134) throughout their range. Using microsatellites combined with nuclear and mtDNA sequence data, we identify a deep north–south divergence in rock wren (3.7 ± 0.5% at cytochrome b) consistent with the glacial refugia hypothesis whereby populations were restricted in isolated refugia during the Pleistocene c. 2 Ma. This is the first study of an alpine vertebrate to test and provide strong evidence for the glacial refugia hypothesis as an explanation for the low endemicity central zone known as the biotic ‘gap’ in the South Island of New Zealand.

Usage Notes

Location

Southern South Island New Zealand
South Island New Zealand
Northern South Island New Zealand