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Zhi-Yong Yuan, Yun-Ke Wu, Fang Yan, Robert W. Murphy, Theodore J. Papenfuss, David B. Wake, Ya-Ping Zhang, Jing Che. Comparative multi-locus assessment of modern Asian newts (Cynops, Paramesotriton, and Pachytriton: Salamandridae) in southern China suggests a shared biogeographic history. Zoological Research, 2022, 43(5): 706-718. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2022.080
Citation: Zhi-Yong Yuan, Yun-Ke Wu, Fang Yan, Robert W. Murphy, Theodore J. Papenfuss, David B. Wake, Ya-Ping Zhang, Jing Che. Comparative multi-locus assessment of modern Asian newts (Cynops, Paramesotriton, and Pachytriton: Salamandridae) in southern China suggests a shared biogeographic history. Zoological Research, 2022, 43(5): 706-718. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2022.080

Comparative multi-locus assessment of modern Asian newts (Cynops, Paramesotriton, and Pachytriton: Salamandridae) in southern China suggests a shared biogeographic history

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2022.080
#Authors contributed equally to this work
Funds:  This work was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program, CAS (XDB31040202, XDA19050303), China's Biodiversity Observation Network (Sino-BON), Digitalization, Development and Application of Biotic Resource (202002AA100007), Animal Branch of the Germplasm Bank of Wild Species, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Large Research Infrastructure Funding), National Natural Science Foundation of China (32170478), Yunnan Fundamental Research Project (202001AW070016, 202005AC160046), Young Talent Project of China Association for Science and Technology (2019-2021QNRC001), and Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program (2019QZKK0501). Manuscript preparation was supported by the CAS President's International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI) to R.W.M.
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  • Evolutionary biologists are always interested in deciphering the geographic context of diversification, therefore they introduced the concept of comparative phylogeography, which helps to identify common mechanisms that contribute to shared genetic structures among organisms from the same region. Here, we used multi-locus genetic data along with environmental data to investigate shared phylogeographic patterns among three Asian-endemic newt genera, Cynops, Paramesotriton and Pachytriton, which occurred in montane/submontane streams or ponds in southern China. Our 222 samples from 78 localities covered the entire range of the three genera and represented the largest dataset of this group to date. We reconstructed matrilineal genealogies from two protein-coding, mitochondrial genes, and gene network from two nuclear genes. We also estimated divergence times of major cladogenetic events and used occurrence data to evaluate niche difference and similarity between lineages. Our results revealed a common basal split in all three genera that corresponds to the separation of two geographic terrains of southern China. Those ancient divergence occurred during middle to late Miocene and likely correlate with paleoclimatic fluctuations caused by the uplift of the Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet) Plateau (QTP). Particularly, the strengthening and weakening of Asian summer monsoons during the Miocene may have profoundly impacted southern China and led to repeatedly vicariance in those newts. However, despite differences in realized niches between lineages, there is no evidence for divergence of fundamental niches. Preservation of old newt matriline lineages in mountains of southern China suggests that the region acts as both museums and cradles of speciation. Based on those results, we advocate a multi-pronged protection strategy for newts in the three genera.
  • #Authors contributed equally to this work
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