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Data from: Species delimitation with gene flow

Cite this dataset

Jackson, Nathan D.; Carstens, Bryan C.; Morales, Ariadna E.; O'Meara, Brian C. (2016). Data from: Species delimitation with gene flow [Dataset]. Dryad.


Species are commonly thought to be evolutionarily independent in a way that populations within a species are not. In recent years, studies that seek to identify evolutionarily independent lineages (i.e., to delimit species) using genetic data have typically adopted multispecies coalescent approaches that assume that evolutionary independence is formed by the differential sorting of ancestral alleles due to genetic drift. However, gene flow appears to be common among populations and nascent species, and while this process may inhibit lineage divergence (and thus independence), it is usually not explicitly considered when delimiting species. In this article, we apply Phylogeographic Inference using Approximate Likelihoods (PHRAPL), a recently described method for phylogeographic model selection, to species delimitation. We describe an approach to delimiting species using PHRAPL that attempts to account for both genetic drift and gene flow, and we compare the method’s performance to that of a popular delimitation approach (BPP) using both simulated and empirical datasets. PHRAPL generally infers the correct demographic-delimitation model when the generating model includes gene flow between taxa, given a sufficient amount of data. When the generating model includes only isolation in the recent past, PHRAPL will in some cases fail to differentiate between gene flow and divergence, leading to model misspecification. Nevertheless, the explicit consideration of gene flow by PHRAPL is an important complement to existing delimitation approaches, particularly in systems where gene flow is likely important.

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