Alison Joan McLean

Griffith University, Southport, Queensland, Australia

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Publications (4)5.39 Total impact

  • A.J. McLean · A Toon · D J Schmidt · L Joseph · J M Hughes
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    ABSTRACT: The chestnut-shouldered fairy-wrens comprise a subgroup of four species in the genus Malurus (Passeriformes: Maluridae). Collectively, they are widespread across the Australian continent but phenotypic variation is strongly structured geographically in just one species, M. lamberti. Earlier phylogenetic analyses of this group have been limited to one or two individuals for each species and have not represented all currently recognised subspecies of M. lamberti. Historically, the taxonomy and nomenclature of the M. lamberti complex has been debated, in part because of morphological similarities among its subspecies and another member of the group, M. amabilis. We reconstructed the phylogeny of all four species of chestnut-shouldered fairy-wrens including all four subspecies of M. lamberti using a mitochondrial gene (ND2), five anonymous nuclear loci and three nuclear introns. Phylogenetic analysis of the mitochondrial ND2 gene nests M. amabilis within M. lamberti rendering the latter paraphyletic. Individual nuclear gene trees failed to reliably resolve each of the species boundaries or the phylogenetic relationships found in the mtDNA tree. When combined, however, a strongly supported overall topology was resolved supporting the monophyly of M. lamberti and its sister species relationship to M. amabilis. Current subspecific taxonomy of M. lamberti was not concordant with all evolutionary lineages of M. lamberti, nominotypical M. l. lamberti being the only subspecies recovered as a monophyletic group from mtDNA. Some genetic structuring is evident and potential barriers to gene flow are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
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    Jane M Hughes · Joel A Huey · Alison J McLean · Olivier Baggiano
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    ABSTRACT: Studies of connectivity of natural populations are often conducted at different timescales. Studies that focus on contemporary timescales ask questions about dispersal abilities and dispersal behavior of their study species. In contrast, studies conducted at historical timescales are usually more focused on evolutionary or biogeographic questions. In this paper we present a synthesis of connectivity studies that have addressed both these timescales in Australian Trichoptera and Ephemeroptera. We conclude that: (1) For both groups, the major mechanism of dispersal is by adult flight, with larval drift playing a very minor role and with unusual patterns of genetic structure at fine scales explained by the "patchy recruitment hypothesis"; (2) There is some evidence presented to suggest that at slightly larger spatial scales (~100 km) caddisflies may be slightly more connected than mayflies; (3) Examinations of three species at historical timescales showed that, in southeast Queensland Australia, despite there being no significant glaciation during the Pleistocene, there are clear impacts of Pleistocene climate changes on their genetic structure; and (4) The use of mitochondrial DNA sequence data has uncovered a number of cryptic species complexes in both trichopterans and ephemeropterans. We conclude with a number of suggestions for further work.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Insects
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    Jane Hughes · Daniel Schmidt · Alison Joan McLean · Arlene Wheatley
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter synthesizes data from 41 studies on 32 species of stream insects in an attempt to answer three questions: First, what is the major dispersal mechanism in aquatic insects, i.e. stream drift or adult flight? If it is stream drift, then genetic variation would be expected to fit the Stream Hierarchy Model of Meffe and Vrijenhoek (1988). If it is adult flight, populations would be expected to be panmictic at small scales, i.e. among populations in neighbouring catchments. Most stream insects with an adult flight stage do not fit the Stream Hierarchy Model, suggesting that adult flight is the major mechanism of dispersal. Second, at what scale are populations of stream insects structured? Across all studies, there was a signifi cant positive relationship between FST and geographic distance for studies using mitochondrial DNA. The isolation-by-distance relationship for allozyme studies was significant only when studies with high numbers of Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium (HWE) deviations were excluded. Third, what can recent analysis of DNA sequence data contribute to our understanding of historical processes affecting stream insects? Several recent phylogeographic studies using mitochondrial DNA sequence data provide evidence of population and range expansions and contractions, along with past fragmentation, all estimated to have occurred during the Pleistocene. Yes Yes
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2008
  • Alison Joan McLean · Daniel J. Schmidt · Jane M. Hughes
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    ABSTRACT: Long-distance dispersal might be an important mechanism for the maintenance of aquatic insect populations in heterogeneous landscapes. However, these events can be difficult to measure by direct observation because the techniques can be time-consuming, expensive and technically difficult. When dispersal results in gene flow within and between populations, patterns of variation can be detected by genetic methods. The levels of population genetic structuring and the relationship between gene flow and geographical distance were assessed in the mayfly species Bungona narilla (Harker, 1957) in rainforest streams in south-east Queensland that are separated by lowland habitats. An analysis of molecular variance based on mitochondrial DNA data, using a fragment of the cytochrome oxidase I gene, revealed significant differentiation between regions, suggesting that maternal gene flow was restricted. A nested clade analysis revealed patterns of historical (contiguous) range expansions and recent restricted gene flowalong with some long-distance dispersal events. Our analyses have shown that populations of B. narilla are significantly structured throughout the species range in south-east Queensland and that the low elevation habitats separating the northern and southern populations are restricting gene flow to some extent. Yes Yes
    No preview · Article · Jan 2008 · Marine and Freshwater Research