[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rivers have been suggested to have played an important role in shaping present-day patterns of ecological and genetic variation among Amazonian species and communities. Recent molecular studies have provided mixed support for the hypothesis that large lowland Amazonian rivers have functioned as significant impediments to gene flow among populations of neotropical species. To date, no study has systematically evaluated the impact that riverine barriers might have on structuring whole Amazonian communities. Our analyses of the phylogeography of frogs and small mammals indicate that a putative riverine barrier (the Juruá River) does not relate to present-day patterns of community similarity and species richness. Rather, our results imply a significant impact of the Andean orogenic axis and associated thrust-and-fold lowland dynamics in shaping patterns of biotic diversity along the Juruá. Combined results of this and other studies significantly weaken the postulated role of rivers as major drivers of Amazonian diversification.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2001; 97(25):13672-7. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Population history and current demographic and ecological factors determine the amount of genetic variation within and the degree of differentiation among populations. Differences in the life history and ecology of codistributed species may lead to differences in hierarchical population genetic structure. Here, we compare patterns of genetic diversity and structure of two species of spiny rats in the genus Proechimys from the Rio Jurui of western Amazonian Brazil. Based on the ecological and life-history differences between the two species, we make predictions as to how they might differ in patterns of genetic diversity and structure. We use mitochondrial sequence data from the cytochrome b gene to test these predictions. Although both species maintain nearly the same number of mitochondrial haplotypes across the sampled range, they differ in levels of genetic diversity and geographic structure. Patterns of gene flow are also different between the two species with average M-values of nearly three in P. steerei and less than one in P. simonsi. Our initial predictions are largely upheld by the genetic data and where conflicting hypotheses arise, we suggest further studies that may allow us to distinguish among evolutionary scenarios. Separating the effects of history and ongoing demography on patterns of genetic diversity is challenging. Combining genetic analyses with field studies remains essential to disentangling these complex processes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The phylogeographic structure of 15 genera of Amazonian marsupials and rodents is summarized based on comparative sequence of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. The data are limited in geographical coverage, with samples widely scattered throughout Amazonia from the base of the Andes in Peru to the Guianan coast and eastern Brazil. We use this approach to define species boundaries, based minimally on the principle of reciprocal monophyly, in conjunction with morphological or other genetic discontinuities. The taxa so defined are older than previously appreciated, with many lineages dating from 1 to more than 3 Myr, and thus apparently predating the early Pleistocene. We relate patterns of concordant geographical shifts with underlying tectonic history and to current positions of major rivers. Finally, we provide comments on the utility of these data and patterns to conservation, articulating a need to incorporate phylogeographic information as part of the rationale in establishing conservation priorities at the organismal and geographical area levels.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The population genetic structure of three species of Amazonian rodents (Oligoryzomys microtis, Oryzomys capito, and Mesomys hispidus) is examined for mtDNA sequence haplotypes of the cytochrome b gene by hierarchical analysis of variance and gene flow estimates based on fixation indices (NST) and coalescence methods. Species samples are from the same localities along 1000 km of the Rio Juruá in western Amazonian Brazil, but each species differs in important life history traits such as population size and reproductive rate. Average haplotype differentiation, hierarchical haplotype apportionment, and gene flow estimates are contrasted in discussing the current and past population structure. Two species exhibit isolation by distance patterns wherein gene flow is largely limited to geographically adjacent localities. Mesomys exhibits this pattern throughout its range along the river. More than 75% of haplotype variation is apportioned among localities and regions, and estimates of Nm for pair-wise comparisons are nearly always less than 1. Oligoryzomys shows weak isolation by distance, but only over the largest geographical distances. Nm values for this species are nearly always above 1 and most (about 80%) of haplotype variation is contained within local populations. In contrast, Oryzomys exhibits no genetic structure throughout its entire distribution; Nm values average 17 and nearly 90% of the total haplotype variance is contained within local populations. Although gene flow estimates are high, the pattern of Nm as a function of geographical distance suggests that this species experienced a more recent invasion of the region and is still in genetic disequilibrium under its current demographic conditions.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Variation in the complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene was examined for 32 individuals representing 12 supraspecific taxa of South American rodents of the family Echimyidae (Hystricognathi). Representative genera of four other New World hystricognath families, the Old World porcupine Hystrix, and the myomorph murid rodents Rattus and Mus were used as outgroups in phylogenetic reconstructions. Monopoly of the family Echimyidae is strongly supported, a result fully consistent with existing morphological and paleontological data relative to the taxa examined. However, relationships among most supraspecific taxa within the family are poorly resolved. Poor resolution appears not to result from lack of data, but to a rapid, nearly simultaneous divergence of most Recent taxa. Generic groupings that are moderately to strongly supported include the tree rats of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (Nelomys) and Amazonia (Echimys, Makalata) and the Amazonian arboreal spiny rats Mesomys and Lonchothrix. However, the two subgenera of the terrestrial spiny rats, Proechimys, do not form a monophyletic unit, and elevation of the Atlantic Forest Trinomys to generic status is supported. The genus Hoplomys is closely related to Proechimys (sensu stricto), a finding supported by other molecular data.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 05/1996; 5(2):403-13. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe patterns of genotypic and phenotypic variation in saddle-back tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis) populations along the central and upper Rio Juruá, western Brazilian Amazonia. The genetic data are sequence haplotypes of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene; phenotypic data are pelage colour variants that define sharply demarcated subspecies of this extremely variable tamarin species. We show that gene flow occurs between adjacent subspecies, but that this phenomenon is restricted to the headwater section of the river, which is consistent with expectations from the riverine barrier hypothesis. In this model, the major first-order tributaries of the Amazon form effective barriers to dispersal, with between-bank gene flow limited to the narrowed sections of headwater streams and parallel divergence increasing along both banks from the headwaters to the mouth of a given river. In meandering rivers such as the Rio Juruá, we suggest passive transfer through river channel dynamics as the main mechanism permitting genetic contact between populations on opposite banks of the river. Finally, we argue that in the case of plant and animal species that are largely restricted to unflooded (terra firme) forests, such as tamarins, seasonally flooded (várzea) forest can operate as a critical additional barrier to between-bank gene flow.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patterns of evolutionary relationships among haplotype clades of sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b DNA gene are examined for five genera of arboreal rodents of the Caviomorph family Echimyidae from the Amazon Basin. Data are available for 798 bp of sequence from a total of 24 separate localities in Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Brazil for Mesomys, Isothrix, Makalata, Dactylomys, and Echimys. Sequence divergence, corrected for multiple hits, is extensive, ranging from less than 1% for comparisons within populations of over 20% among geographic units within genera. Both the degree of differentiation and the geographic patterning of the variation suggest that more than one species composes the Amazonian distribution of the currently recognized Mesomys hispidus, Isothrix bistriata, Makalata didelphoides, and Dactylomys dactylinus. There is general concordance in the geographic range of haplotype clades for each of these taxa, and the overall level of differentiation within them is largely equivalent. These observations suggest that a common vicariant history underlies the respective diversification of each genus. However, estimated times of divergence based on the rate of third position transversion substitutions for the major clades within each genus typically range above 1 million years. Thus, allopatric isolation precipitating divergence must have been considerably earlier than the late Pleistocene forest fragmentation events commonly invoked for Amazonian biota.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 10/1993; 2(3):243-55. · 4.07 Impact Factor