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Open AccessArticle

Gradual Distance Dispersal Shapes the Genetic Structure in an Alpine Grasshopper

1
Research Unit of Biodiversity (UMIB, UO-CSIC-PA), Oviedo University, 33600 Mieres, Spain
2
Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Immunology, University of Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain
3
Biomedical Research Center (CINBIO), University of Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain
4
Department of Biology, Organisms and Systems, GIS-Forest Group, Oviedo University, 33600 Mieres, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally.
Genes 2019, 10(8), 590; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10080590
Received: 21 July 2019 / Revised: 1 August 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod Genetics and Genomics)
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Abstract

The location of the high mountains of southern Europe has been crucial in the phylogeography of most European species, but how extrinsic (topography of sky islands) and intrinsic features (dispersal dynamics) have interacted to shape the genetic structure in alpine restricted species is still poorly known. Here we investigated the mechanisms explaining the colonisation of Cantabrian sky islands in an endemic flightless grasshopper. We scrutinised the maternal genetic variability and haplotype structure, and we evaluated the fitting of two migration models to understand the extant genetic structure in these populations: Long-distance dispersal (LDD) and gradual distance dispersal (GDD). We found that GDD fits the real data better than the LDD model, with an onset of the expansion matching postglacial expansions after the retreat of the ice sheets. Our findings suggest a scenario with small carrying capacity, migration rates, and population growth rates, being compatible with a slow dispersal process. The gradual expansion process along the Cantabrian sky islands found here seems to be conditioned by the suitability of habitats and the presence of alpine corridors. Our findings shed light on our understanding about how organisms which have adapted to live in alpine habitats with limited dispersal abilities have faced new and suitable environmental conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cantabrian Mountains; Chorthippus cazurroi; coalescent simulations; migration models; sky islands; incipient diversification; flightless grasshopper Cantabrian Mountains; Chorthippus cazurroi; coalescent simulations; migration models; sky islands; incipient diversification; flightless grasshopper
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Illera, J.C.; Arenas, M.; López-Sánchez, C.A.; Obeso, J.R.; Laiolo, P. Gradual Distance Dispersal Shapes the Genetic Structure in an Alpine Grasshopper. Genes 2019, 10, 590.

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