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Isolation by distance and post-glacial range expansion in the rough-skinned newt, Taricha granulosa


Shawn R. Kuchta, Fax: 831-459-5353, E-mail:


Allozymes and mitochondrial DNA sequences were used to examine the phylogeographical history of the rough-skinned newt, Taricha granulosa, in western North America. Nineteen populations were analysed for allozyme variation at 45 loci, and 23 populations were analysed for cytochrome b sequence variation. Both data sets agree that populations in the southern part of the range are characterized by isolation by distance, whereas northern populations fit the expectations of a recent range expansion. However, the northern limit of isolation by distance (and the southern limit of range expansion) is located in Oregon State by the mtDNA data, and in Washington State by the allozyme data. Nevertheless, both data sets are consistent with the known Pleistocene history of western North America, with phylogenetically basal populations in central and northern California, and a recent range expansion in the north following the retreat of the Cordilleran ice sheet 10 000 years ago. Additionally, a population in Idaho, previously considered introduced from central California based on morphometric analyses, possesses a distinct mtDNA haplotype, suggesting it could be native. The relevance of these results for Pacific Northwest biogeography is discussed.

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