BMC Evolutionary Biology
Studies of geographic variation can provide insight into the evolutionary processes involved in the early stages of biological diversification. In particular, multiple, replicated cases of geographic trait divergence present a powerful approach to study how patterns of introgression and adaptive divergence can vary with geographic space and time. In this study, we conduct replicated, fine-scaled molecular genetic analyses of striking geographic dewlap color variation of a Hispaniolan Anolis lizard, Anolis distichus, to investigate whether adaptive trait divergence is consistently associated with speciation, whereby genetic divergence is observed with neutral markers, or whether locally adapted traits are maintained in the face of continued gene flow.
We find instances where shifts in adaptive dewlap coloration across short geographic distances are associated with reproductive isolation as well as maintained in the face of gene flow, suggesting the importance of both processes in maintaining geographic dewlap variation.
Our study suggests that adaptive dewlap color differences are maintained under strong divergent natural selection, but this divergence does not necessarily lead to anole speciation.
Ng, Julienne; Ossip-Klein, Alison G.; and Glor, Richard E., "Adaptive signal coloration maintained in the face of gene flow in a Hispaniolan Anolis Lizard" (2016). University Libraries Open Access Fund Supported Publications. 40.