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Variation in intraspecific demography drives localised concordance but species-wide discordance in responses to Plio-Pleistocene climatic change

Citation

Buckley, Sean et al. (2022), Variation in intraspecific demography drives localised concordance but species-wide discordance in responses to Plio-Pleistocene climatic change, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.z8w9ghxd4

Abstract

Understanding how species biology may facilitate resilience to climate change remains a critical factor in detecting and protecting species at risk of extinction. Many studies have focused on the role of particular ecological traits in driving species responses, but less so on demographic history and levels of standing genetic variation. We used environmental and genomic datasets to reconstruct the phylogeographic histories of two ecologically similar and largely co-distributed freshwater fishes to assess the degree of concordance in their responses to Plio-Pleistocene climatic changes. Although several co-occurring populations demonstrated concordant demographic histories, idiosyncratic population size changes were found at the range edges of the more spatially restricted species. Discordant responses between species were associated with low standing genetic variation in peripheral populations. This might have hindered adaptive potential, as documented in recent population declines and extinctions of the two species. Our results highlight both the role of spatial scale in the degree of concordance in species responses to climate change, and the importance of standing genetic variation in facilitating range shifts. Even when ecological traits are similar between species, long-term genetic diversity and historical population demography may lead to discordant responses to ongoing and future climate change