Evolutionary relationships, species delimitation and biogeography of Eastern Afromontane horned chameleons (Chamaeleonidae: Trioceros)

Sara Ceccarelli, F. and Michele Menegon, and Krystal A. Tolley, and Colin R. Tilbury, and David J. Gower, and Maiti H. Laserna, and Roman Kasahun, and Ana Rodriguez-Prieto, and Reto Hagmann, and Simon P. Loader, . (2014) Evolutionary relationships, species delimitation and biogeography of Eastern Afromontane horned chameleons (Chamaeleonidae: Trioceros). Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, Vol. 80C , S. 125–136.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6289029

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Abstract The Eastern Afromontane Region (EAR) contains numerous endemic species, yet its reptile diversity remains relatively poorly understood. We used molecular data to examine species diversity of the Sub-Saharan chameleon genus Trioceros. In particular, we focus on establishing species boundaries for taxa with disjunct distributions across the fragmented mountains of the EAR, including T. affinis, T. balebicornutus, T. deremensis, T. harennae, T. tempeli and T. werneri. We applied three species-delimiting approaches, General Mixed Yule-Coalescent (GMYC), a Bayesian implementation of the GMYC, and Bayes Factor Delimitation to estimate species diversity. Using a dated phylogeny, we also examined spatial and temporal diversification patterns in Trioceros. We found strong congruence between different species delimitation approaches, with all methods suggesting that species diversity is currently underestimated. In particular, T. werneri consists of at least four candidate species (i.e. species awaiting description) with some mountain ranges (Uluguru and Udzungwa) having potentially more than one species. Most interspecific divergences between extant Trioceros lineages are estimated to be <5 Mya, consistent with a Pliocene origin of the endemic montane fauna, as exhibited in other taxonomic groups. Multiple, overlapping geographic events (climate and/or geomorphological changes) might account for speciation patterns in Trioceros given the dating results.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Biogeographie (Nagel)
UniBasel Contributors:Loader, Simon Paul
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:10 Oct 2014 09:19
Deposited On:10 Oct 2014 09:19

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