Microgeographical adaptation corresponds to elevational distributions of congeneric montane grasshoppers

Sonu Yadav, Adam J. Stow, Rachael Y. Dudaniec*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    9 Downloads (Pure)


    Local adaptation can occur at small spatial scales relative to the dispersal capacity of species. Alpine ecosystems have sharp environmental clines that offer an opportunity to investigate the effects of fine‐scale shifts in species’ niche breadth on adaptive genetic processes. Here we examine two grasshopper species endemic to the Australian Alps (Kosciuscola spp.) that differ in elevational niche breadth: one broader, K. usitatus (1400–2200 m), and one narrower, K. tristis (1600–2000 m). We examine signatures of selection with respect to environmental and morphological variables in two mountain regions using FST outlier tests and environmental association analyses (EAAs) applied to single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data (K. usitatus: 9017 SNPs, n = 130; K. tristis: 7363 SNPs, n = 135). Stronger genetic structure was found in the more narrowly distributed K. tristis, which showed almost twice the number of SNPs under putative selection (10.8%) compared with K. usitatus (5.3%). When examining SNPs in common across species (n = 3058), 260 SNPs (8.5%) were outliers shared across species, and these were mostly associated with elevation, a proxy for temperature, suggesting parallel adaptive processes in response to climatic drivers. Additive polygenic scores (an estimate of the cumulative signal of selection across all candidate loci) were nonlinearly and positively correlated with elevation in both species. However, a steeper correlation in K. tristis indicated a stronger signal of spatially varying selection towards higher elevations. Our study illustrates that the niche breadth of co‐occurring and related species distributed along the same environmental cline is associated with differences in patterns of microgeographical adaptation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)481-498
    Number of pages18
    JournalMolecular Ecology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


    • Kosciuscola
    • contemporary evolution
    • insects
    • landscape genomics
    • local adaptation
    • natural selection


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