Data from: A question of time: the land snail Murella muralis (Gastropoda: Pulmonata) reveals constrains to past ecological speciation
Cite this dataset
Fiorentino, Viviana et al. (2012). Data from: A question of time: the land snail Murella muralis (Gastropoda: Pulmonata) reveals constrains to past ecological speciation [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v84jr
The lively debate about speciation currently focuses on the relative importance of factors driving population differentiation. While many studies are increasingly producing results on the importance of selection, little is known about the interaction between drift and selection. Moreover there is still little knowledge on the spatial-temporal scales at which speciation occurs, i.e. arrangement of habitat patches, abruptness of habitat transitions, climate and habitat changes interacting with selective forces. To investigate these questions, we quantified variation on a fine geographical scale analysing morphological (shell) and genetic datasets coupled with environmental data in the land snail Murella muralis, endemic to the Mediterranean island of Sicily. Analysis of a fragment of the mitochondrial DNA Cytochrome Oxidase I gene (COI) and eight nuclear microsatellite loci showed that genetic variation is highly structured at a very fine spatial scale by local palaeogeographical events and historical population dynamics. Molecular clock estimates, calibrated here specifically for Tyrrhenian land snails, provided a framework of palaeogeographical events responsible for the observed geographical variations and migration routes. Finally, we showed for the first time well documented lines of evidences of selection in the past, which explains divergence of land snail shell shapes. We suggest that time and palaeogeographical history acted as constraints in the progress along the ecological speciation continuum. Our study shows that testing for correlation among palaeogeography, morphology and genetic data on a fine geographical scale provides information fundamental for a detailed understanding of ecological speciation processes.