, Volume 135, Issue 2, pp 169-183
Date: 08 Apr 2008

A striking lack of genetic diversity across the wide-ranging amphibian Gastrophryne carolinensis (Anura: Microhylidae)

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Abstract

We examine phylogeographic structure across a wide-ranging microhylid frog (Gastrophryne carolinensis) using both mitochondrial (mtDNA) and nuclear (AFLP) data. Species with similar ecological characteristics such as large range size, low vagility, or existence across known biogeographic barriers, often are comprised of multiple, cryptic lineages. Surprisingly, our analyses of both portions of the genome show very little phylogeographic or population genetic structure. The family Microhylidae is one of the largest families of anurans with over 60 genera and around 400 species distributed across much of the world (Americas, Asia, Africa, and Madagascar), but very few phylogeographic studies have assessed intraspecific genetic diversity across the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. Our results suggest that G. carolinensis, one of only three species of microhylid native to the US, has experienced a severe population bottleneck with subsequent range expansion. Comparable molecular data from closely related microhylids, in addition to demographic and ecological analyses, will provide valuable insight into patterns of genetic diversity and the processes driving phylogeographic diversity in these wide-ranging frogs.