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Shifting ecosystem connectivity during the Pleistocene drove diversification and gene-flow in a species-complex of Neotropical birds (Tityridae: Pachyramphus)

Citation

Musher, Lukas et al. (2021), Shifting ecosystem connectivity during the Pleistocene drove diversification and gene-flow in a species-complex of Neotropical birds (Tityridae: Pachyramphus), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vt4b8gtp5

Abstract

Aim: We aim to test the biogeographic drivers of diversification and gene-flow at the Isthmus of Panama using a species complex of suboscine birds as a case study. We specifically evaluate whether diversification in these birds is better explained by continuous parapatry or a Refuge Model of periodic isolation and gene-flow due glacial cycling.

Location: The Isthmus of Panama (Neotropics)

Taxon: Pachyramphus aglaiae and P. homochrous (Aves: Tityridae)

Methods: We develop an approach to distinguish among the two biogeographic hypotheses –parapatric ecological speciation versus climatically-mediated speciation– by making explicit predictions for demographic history, niche evolution, and change in geographic connectivity over time. We sequenced genome-wide markers (ultraconserved elements) to estimate the evolutionary and demographic history of this group. We applied both phylogenomic network analyses and demographic modeling using a supervised machine learning approach. These genetic analyses were combined with a novel distribution modeling method that estimates the probability of interspecies contact as a function of climatic conditions through time.

Results: We found that both spatial and genetic analyses revealed concordant results. All speciation events occurred during the Pleistocene and were characterized by non-continuous gene-flow, supporting a scenario of climate-mediated diversification. Spatial connectivity was highest at present, consistent with our best demographic model of secondary contact.

Main Conclusions: This study exemplifies a mechanism by which speciation, dispersal, and introgression unfold in an important region for Neotropical diversification –the Isthmus of Panama– where periods of both isolation and introgression probably drive diversification. Overall, our results are consistent with the Refuge Model of biotic diversification, but suggest that introgression may be a crucial yet underappreciated component of this classic paradigm.

Usage Notes

Here we deposit the cleaned illumina reads from ultraconserved element sequencing in addition to mitochondrial genome alignments.

Funding

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Award: 2012/50260-6

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Award: 2017/25720-7

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Award: 2018/17869-3

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Award: 1241066

National Science Foundation, Award: 1146248

National Science Foundation, Award: 1241066