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Evidence for an intrinsic factor promoting landscape genetic divergence in Madagascan leaf-litter frogs

Wollenberg Valero, Katharina C.



The endemic Malagasy frog radiations are an ideal model system to study patterns and processes of speciation in amphibians. Large-scale diversity patterns of these frogs, together with other endemic animal radiations, led to the postulation of new and the application of known hypotheses of species diversification causing diversity patterns in this biodiversity hotspot. Both extrinsic and intrinsic factors have been studied in a comparative framework, with extrinsic factors usually being related to the physical environment (landscape, climate, river catchments, mountain chains), and intrinsic factors being clade-specific traits or constraints (reproduction, ecology, morphology, physiology). Despite some general patterns emerging from such large-scale comparative analyses, it became clear that the mechanism of diversification in Madagascar may vary among clades, and may be a multifactorial process. In this contribution, I test for intrinsic factors promoting population-level divergence within a clade of terrestrial, diurnal leaf-litter frogs (genus Gephyromantis) that has previously been shown to diversify according to extrinsic factors. Landscape genetic analyses of the microendemic species Gephyromantis enki and its widely distributed, larger sister species Gephyromantis boulengeri over a rugged landscape in the Ranomafana area shows that genetic variance of the smaller species cannot be explained by landscape resistance alone. Both topographic and riverine barriers are found to be important in generating this divergence. This case study yields additional evidence for the probable importance of body size in lineage diversification.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 15, 2015
Journal Frontiers in Genetics
Print ISSN 1664-8021
Electronic ISSN 1664-8021
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 06
Issue MAY
Article Number 155
Institution Citation Wollenberg Valero, K. C. (2015). Evidence for an intrinsic factor promoting landscape genetic divergence in Madagascan leaf-litter frogs. Frontiers in Genetics, 06(MAY),
Keywords Landscape divergence; Speciation; Riverine barriers; Topographical complexity; Madagascar
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Copyright Statement
© 2015 Wollenberg Valero. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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