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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3619.1.3

Deep Divergences within Liolaemus nigroviridis (Squamata, Liolaemidae) Lineages Associated with Sky Islands in Central Chile

FRANCO CIANFERONI, ROMINA P. YÁÑEZ, R. EDUARDO PALMA, CARLOS F. GARIN, FERNANDO TORRES-PÉREZ

Abstract


Evolution of montane species may be strongly influenced by climate oscillations, particularly species distributed in isolated high-elevation areas (sky islands). Chilean topography is exemplified by montane environments including the Andesand CoastalMountains. To test hypotheses related to genetic divergence associated with sky islands, we explored population genetics and phylogenetic signatures in the montane lizard Liolaemus nigroviridis Müller and Hellmich 1932. We sequenced the mitochondrial cytochrome b for samples collected from six montane areas in central Chile. We found high genetic divergence among populations, congruent with well-supported clades from phylogeny reconstructions. The most recent common ancestor of all samples of L. nigroviridis was dated around the limit of Pliocene-Pleistocene (2.7 Mya), congruent with early vicariance of Andean and coastal populations. Deep lineage divergences suggest that allopatric populations accumulated high nucleotide differences and maintained long periods without gene exchange. We discuss potential taxonomic revisions considering relative genetic divergence.


Keywords


Phylogeography, montane species, Sauria, cytochrome b, subspecies, candidate species

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ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand
A founding journal of Biotaxa