Distinguishing between primary and secondary intergradation among morphologically differentiated populations of Anolis marmoratus



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    1. Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA
      *Department of Zoology, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, 4072, Queensland, Australia. Fax: 61 7 3365 1655. E-mail: c.schneider@mailbox.uq.oz.au
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  • This paper resulted from an analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequence variation in the Guadeloupean anoles while the author was a PhD student at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California at Berkeley. The author is now doing post-doctoral research in molecular systematics and population genetics with Craig Moritz at the University of Queensland, Australia.

*Department of Zoology, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, 4072, Queensland, Australia. Fax: 61 7 3365 1655. E-mail: c.schneider@mailbox.uq.oz.au


Distinguishing between primary and secondary intergradation among differentiated populations, and the relative importance of drift and selection, are persistent problems in evolutionary biology. An historical perspective on population interactions can provide insight into the nature of contacts, and thus help resolve these questions. Continuously distributed populations of Anolis marmoratus from the island of Basse Terre in the Guadeloupean archipelago of the Lesser Antilles show a striking degree of geographic variation in morphology. Initial surveys of mtDNA variation from throughout the Guadeloupean Archipelago revealed one case where levels of sequence difference and phylogenetic relationships of alleles from morphologically differentiated populations from the east coast of Basse Terre were consistent with primary intergradation. In this paper, I examine the genetic population structure of a series of populations spanning this north-south cline in morphological variation to test the hypothesis of primary intergradation. Sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene from 50 individuals representing five populations spanning the cline were obtained and fourteen unique haplotypes (differing by 2% or less) were detected. Patterns of nucleotide substitution among haplotypes do not deviate from neutral expectation indicating no effect of selection at the level of mtDNA sequences. Estimates of population structure and gene flow were made using both summary statistics for nucleotide diversity (Nat) and cladistic methods. The results are sensitive to the choice of gene flow model, and this is discussed in detail. Mitochondrial variation in the northern populations may not be at equilibrium, and the phylogeny of alleles is consistent with a recent increase in effective population size. Estimates of nucleotide diversity, gene flow, and the phylogenetic relationships of haplotypes indicate that the southern-most population (representing the extreme of morphological variation along this cline) has been relatively isolated from populations to the north and has experienced a reduced effective population size. The apparent clinal variation between the southern population and the others may therefore reflect secondary contact and introgression rather than primary intergradation.