Genes meet geology: fish phylogeographic pattern reflects ancient, rather than modern, drainage connection

Evolution (Impact Factor: 4.61). 10/2001; 55(9):1844-1851. DOI: 10.1111/j.0014-3820.2001.tb00833.x


Abstract We used DNA analysis of the freshwater Galaxias vulgaris complex (Pisces: Galaxiidae) to test a geological hypothesis of drainage evolution in South Island, New Zealand. Geological evidence suggests that the presently north-flowing Nevis River branch of the Clutha/Kawarau River system (Otago) once flowed south into the Nokomai branch of the Mataura system (Southland). The flow reversal is thought to have resulted from fault and fold activity associated with post-Miocene uplift. Mitochondrial DNA sequence data (control region and cytochrome b genes; 76 individuals; maximum divergence 7.1%) corroborate this geomorphological hypothesis: The Nevis River retains a freshwater fish species (Galaxias gollumoides; five sites; 10 haplotypes) that is otherwise restricted to Southland (nine sites; 15 haplotypes). There is no indication that the Nevis River lineage of G. gollumoides lives elsewhere in the Clutha/Kawarau system (> 30 sites). Likewise, two widespread Clutha lineages (G. ‘sp’ D; G. anomalus–G. pullus) are apparently absent from the Nevis (> 30 sites). In particular, G. ‘sp D’ lives throughout much of the Clutha (12 sites, 23 haplotypes), including a tributary of the Kawarau, but is absent from the Nevis itself. Conventional molecular clock calibrations (based on a minimum Nevis-Mataura haplotype divergence of 3.0%) indicate that the Nevis flow reversal may have occurred in the early-mid Pleistocene, which is roughly consistent with geological data. The broad phylogeographic structure evident in the Clutha system is consistent with the sedentary nature of nonmigratory galaxiids. Our study reinforces the value of combining biological and geological data for the formulation and testing of historical hypotheses.

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Available from: Graham P Wallis
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    • "E-mail: environment and the aquatic biota that inhabit these systems, favouring evolutionary processes (Kornfield & Smith, 2000; Waters et al., 2001; Elmer et al., 2010; Carrea et al., 2012; Vogiatzi et al., 2014). The tectonic activities and water level fluctuations in the African Great Lakes are a classic example of this phenomenon, which may have promoted the diversification in the cichlid species flock (Sturmbauer et al., 2001; Verheyen et al., 2003; Joyce et al., 2005; Nevado et al., 2013). "

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    • "y . In particular , explaining why lower Taieri ( pullus ; eldoni ) and upper Taieri lineages ( anomalus ; depressiceps ) have not infiltrated the ranges of one another since the Kye Burn capture event remains a challenge . Similarly , the reasons for the continued localised distributions of endemic Teviot ( this study ) and Nevis river lineages ( Waters et al . , 2001 ) are not immediately clear . One possibility , previously suggested by ( Burridge et al . , 2007 ) , is that abiotic factors such as ecologically inhospitable gorges in the Clutha and Taieri river systems have prevented substantial range expansion through main - channel connections . An alternative ecological explanation is that ' foun"
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    • "Other than the transfer sometime after 50,000 years ago of the Yamuna River from the Indus to the Ganges (Clift et al. 2012), the timing of specific capture events cannot be reconstructed from the terrestrial evidence alone and in many cases remains unclear or imprecise (Clift and Blusztajn 2005). Within river systems there are often strong relationships between the present distribution of aquatic species and historical drainage patterns (Waters et al. 2001). This is because for exclusively aquatic animals, such as freshwater fish or obligate river dolphins, both the terrestrial environment and the ocean represent formidable barriers to dispersal between drainages. "
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