The influence of environmental variation on the genetic structure of a poison frog distributed across continuous Amazonian rainforest

Anthony S. Ferreira*, Albertina P. Lima, Robert Jehle, Miquéias Ferrão, Adam Stow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Biogeographic barriers such as rivers have been shown to shape spatial patterns of biodiversity in the Amazon basin, yet relatively little is known about the distribution of genetic variation across continuous rainforest. Here, we characterize the genetic structure of the brilliant-thighed poison frog (Allobates femoralis) across an 880-km-long transect along the Purus-Madeira interfluve south of the Amazon river, based on 64 individuals genotyped at 7609 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci. A population tree and clustering analyses revealed 4 distinct genetic groups, one of which was strongly divergent. These genetic groups were concomitant with femoral spot coloration differences, which was intermediate within a zone of admixture between two of the groups. The location of these genetic groups did not consistently correspond to current ecological transitions between major forest types. A multimodel approach to quantify the relative influence of isolation-by-geographic distance (IBD) and isolation-by-environmental resistance (IBR) nevertheless revealed that, in addition to a strong signal of IBD, spatial genetic differentiation was explained by IBR primarily linked to dry season intensity (r2 = 8.4%) and canopy cover (r2 = 6.4%). We show significant phylogenetic divergence in the absence of obvious biogeographical barriers and that finer-scaled measures of genetic structure are associated with environmental variables also known to predict the density of A. femoralis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberesaa034
Pages (from-to)457-470
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Heredity
Volume111
Issue number5
Early online date22 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

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Keywords

  • RADseq
  • genetic clusters
  • landscape genetics
  • Amazonia
  • amphibians

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