In situ genetic differentiation in a Hispaniolan lizard (Ameiva chrysolaema): A multilocus perspective

Matthew E. Gifford, Allan Larson

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31 Scopus citations


A previous phylogeographic study of mitochondrial haplotypes for the Hispaniolan lizard Ameiva chrysolaema revealed deep genetic structure associated with seawater inundation during the late Pliocene/early Pleistocene and evidence of subsequent population expansion into formerly inundated areas. We revisit hypotheses generated by our previous study using increased geographic sampling of populations and analysis of three nuclear markers (α-enolase intron 8, α-cardiac-actin intron 4, and β-actin intron 3) in addition to mitochondrial haplotypes (ND2). Large genetic discontinuities correspond spatially and temporally with historical barriers to gene flow (sea inundations). NCPA cross-validation analysis and Bayesian multilocus analyses of divergence times (IMa and MCMCcoal) reveal two separate episodes of fragmentation associated with Pliocene and Pleistocene sea inundations, separating the species into historically separate Northern, East-Central, West-Central, and Southern population lineages. Multilocus Bayesian analysis using IMa indicates asymmetrical migration from the East-Central to the West-Central populations following secondary contact, consistent with expectations from the more pervasive sea inundation in the western region. The West-Central lineage has a genetic signature of population growth consistent with the expectation of geographic expansion into formerly inundated areas. Within each lineage, significant spatial genetic structure indicates isolation by distance at comparable temporal scales. This study adds to the growing body of evidence that vicariant speciation may be the prevailing source of lineage accumulation on oceanic islands. Thus, prior theories of island biogeography generally underestimate the role and temporal scale of intra-island vicariant processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-291
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Coalescence
  • Island biogeography
  • Isolation-with-migration
  • Multilocus
  • NCPA
  • Phylogeography


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