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Deep phylogeographic structuring of populations of the trapdoor spider Moggridgea tingle (Migidae) from southwestern Australia: evidence for long-term refugia within refugia

Authors

  • STEVEN J. B. COOPER,

    1. Evolutionary Biology Unit, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
    2. Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, School of Earth and Environmental Science, The University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
    3. Department of Terrestrial Zoology, Western Australian Museum, Locked Bag 49, Welshpool DC, WA 6986, Australia
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  • MARK S. HARVEY,

    1. Department of Terrestrial Zoology, Western Australian Museum, Locked Bag 49, Welshpool DC, WA 6986, Australia
    2. Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, 79th street at Central Park West, New York, NY, 10024-5192 USA
    3. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA, 94118 USA
    4. School of Animal Biology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
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  • KATHLEEN M. SAINT,

    1. Evolutionary Biology Unit, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
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  • BARBARA Y. MAIN

    1. School of Animal Biology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
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Steven J. B. Cooper, Fax: +61 8 82077222; E-mail: steve.cooper@samuseum.sa.gov.au

Abstract

Southwestern Australia has been recognized as a biodiversity hot spot of global significance, and it is particularly well known for its considerable diversity of flowering plant species. Questions of interest are how this region became so diverse and whether its fauna show similar diverse patterns of speciation. Here, we carried out a phylogeographic study of trapdoor spiders (Migidae: Moggridgea), a presumed Gondwanan lineage found in wet forest localities across southwestern Australia. Phylogenetic, molecular clock and population genetic analyses of mitochondrial (mtDNA) COI gene and ITS rRNA (internal transcribed spacer) data revealed considerable phylogeographic structuring of Moggridgea populations, with evidence for long-term (>3 million years) isolation of at least nine populations in different geographic locations, including upland regions of the Stirling and Porongurup Ranges. High levels of mtDNA divergence and no evidence of recent mitochondrial gene flow among valley populations of the Stirling Range suggest that individual valleys have acted as refugia for the spiders throughout the Pleistocene. Our findings support the hypothesis that climate change, particularly the aridification of Australia after the late Miocene, and the topography of the landscape, which allowed persistence of moist habitats, have been major drivers of speciation in southwestern Australia.

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