Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 51–64

Ecology predicts parapatric distributions in two closely related Antirrhinum majus subspecies

  • A. Khimoun
  • J. Cornuault
  • M. Burrus
  • B. Pujol
  • C. Thebaud
  • C. Andalo
Original Paper

Abstract

Using a species distribution model, we reconstructed the environmental niches of Antirrhinum majus pseudomajus and Antirrhinum majus striatum, two closely related species with parapatric distributions. We tested whether retention of ancestral environmental niche (i.e. niche conservatism) or adaptation to different ecological conditions (i.e. niche divergence) could explain the maintenance of their non-overlapping geographic ranges. We found that the environmental niche of A. m. pseudomajus is almost twice as large as that of A. m. striatum, with substantial overlap indicating that A. m. pseudomajus and A. m. striatum should co-occur frequently within the geographic range of A. m. striatum. By analysing contact zones where both subspecies are geographically close, we found that the presence of one subspecies instead of the other was significantly influenced by particular combinations of climatic factors. Since independent genetic evidence indicates that the two subspecies have experienced phases of range overlap at or near contact zones over the course of their evolutionary history, we propose that ecological niche displacement might be an important factor in explaining the absence of current range overlap between A. majus subspecies.

Keywords

Antirrhinum majus Parapatry Niche modeling Niche divergence Ecological character displacement 

Supplementary material

10682_2012_9574_MOESM1_ESM.doc (58 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 58 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Khimoun
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Cornuault
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Burrus
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. Pujol
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. Thebaud
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. Andalo
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique (EDB), UMR5174Université de Toulouse (UPS)Toulouse cedex 9France
  2. 2.Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique (EDB), UMR5174CNRSToulouse cedex 9France

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