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Conservation Genetics

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 337–341 | Cite as

Phylogenetic position of a threatened stag beetle, Lucanus datunensis (Coleoptera: Lucanidae) in Taiwan and implications for conservation

  • Chung-Ping Lin
  • Jen-Pan Huang
  • Yat-Hung Lee
  • Ming-Yu Chen
Short Communication

Abstract

Among nine endemic Lucanus beetles in Taiwan, L. datunensis is the island’s smallest and most threatened species. It currently exists as only one population located in tall grasslands of Mt. Datun in the Yangmingshan National Park. Given the isolated population, unique subtropical grassland, and the threats resulting from human activities, L. datunensis raises immediate conservation concern for its long-term survival. Phylogenies reconstructed from combined mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (1310 bps) and nuclear wingless (436 bps) genes were resolved and placed L. datunensis as a phylogenetically distinct species sister to L. fortunei from China. All 13 examined individuals of L. datunensis shared just one mitochondrial haplotype suggesting extremely low mitochondrial DNA diversity and a small effective population size. L. datunensis and morphologically closest L. miwai were distantly related and appear to have evolved in parallel the life history traits of a small body size and diurnal mate-searching behavior. We hypothesize that these habitat-associated characters are convergent adaptations that have evolved in response to shifts from forests to grasslands.

Keywords

Yangmingshan National Park Cox1 Wingless Convergent adaptation Subtropical grassland 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by research grants from the Yangmingshan National Park and National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC 94-2311-B-029-007). We would like to thank Chien-An Chen, Che-Yun Kuan, and Liang-Jong Wang who helped the field works. We also appreciate Alfried Vogler and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chung-Ping Lin
    • 1
  • Jen-Pan Huang
    • 1
  • Yat-Hung Lee
    • 1
  • Ming-Yu Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Life Science, Center for Tropical Ecology and BiodiversityTunghai UniversityTaichungTaiwan

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