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Phylogeography and ecological niche modeling unravel the evolutionary history of the African green toad, Bufotes boulengeri boulengeri (Amphibia: Bufonidae), through the Quaternary

Abstract : Recent integration of ecological niche models in phylogeographic studies is improving our understanding of the processes structuring genetic variation across landscapes. Previous studies on the amphibian Bufotes boulengeri boulengeri uncovered a surprisingly weak intraspecific differentiation across the Maghreb region. We widely sampled this species from Morocco to Egypt and sequenced one nuclear and three mitochondrial (mtDNA) genes to determine the level of genetic variability across its geographic range. We evaluated these data with ecological niche modeling to reveal its evolutionary history in response to climate change during the Quaternary. Our results highlight some mtDNA phylogeographic structure within this species, with one haplogroup endemic to coastal Morocco, and one haplogroup widely distributed throughout North Africa. No or little genetic differentiation is observed between isolated populations from the Hoggar Mountains, the Sabha district and the islands of Kerkennah and Lampedusa, compared to others populations. This can be explained by the expansion of the distribution range of B. b. boulengeri during glacial periods. This might have facilitated the species’ dispersal and subsequent gene flow between most North African localities.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 10:33:49 AM
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Violaine Nicolas, Abderrahmane Mataame, Pierre-André Crochet, Philippe Geniez, Soumia Fahd, et al.. Phylogeography and ecological niche modeling unravel the evolutionary history of the African green toad, Bufotes boulengeri boulengeri (Amphibia: Bufonidae), through the Quaternary. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, Wiley, 2018, 56 (1), pp.102-116. ⟨10.1111/jzs.12185⟩. ⟨hal-01724136⟩

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