Phylogeography of the long-toed salamander, ambystoma macrodactylum
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AbstractThe long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) was phylogeographically investigated by employing two mitochondrial genes that exhibit differential evolvability. Traditional systematics and statistical parsimony estimated haplotype phylogenies. Concordant patterns among genes, their phylogenies, and regional geography provided a testable and accountable means to map population structure and history in A. macrodactylum. Deep genealogical gaps and reciprocally monophyletic clades were consistent with vicariance across the dry Columbia Plateau. Corroborative evidence suggests Coastal and Continental Clades constitute two cohesion species. Nested clades and molecular clocks identify seven refugia that were allopatrically sub-divided during the Pleistocene. Ambystoma macrodactylum exhibits common 'salamander-type' behaviors that minimize their active dispersal distances, but the frequency of longdistance migration by passive dispersal would increase as glaciers retreated and caused flooding. Matrix correspondence tests identified a correlation between GIS friction map and genetic distance and suggest that low-elevation corridors guided populations during expansion.
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