DOI: 10.1101/454181Oct 26, 2018Paper

Caribbean golden orbweaving spiders maintain gene flow with North America

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Klemen ČandekMatjaž Kuntner

Abstract

The Caribbean archipelago offers one of the best natural arenas for testing biogeographic hypotheses. The intermediate dispersal model of biogeography (IDM) predicts variation in species richness among lineages on islands to relate to their dispersal potential. To test this model, one would need background knowledge of dispersal potential of lineages, which has been problematic as evidenced by our prior biogeographic work on the Caribbean tetragnathid spiders. In order to investigate the biogeographic imprint of an excellent disperser, we study the American Trichonephila, a nephilid genus that contains globally distributed species known to overcome long, overwater distances. Our results reveal that the American T. clavipes shows a phylogenetic and population genetic structure consistent with a single species over the Caribbean, but not over the entire Americas. Haplotype network suggests that populations maintain lively gene flow between the Caribbean and North America. Combined with prior evidence from spider genera of different dispersal ability, these patterns coming from an excellent disperser (Trichonephila) that is species poor and of a relatively homogenous genetic structure, support the IDM predictions.

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