Archipelagos of the Anthropocene: rapid and extensive differentiation of native terrestrial vertebrates in a single metropolis

Littleford-Colquhoun, Bethan L. , Clemente, Christofer, Whiting, Martin J. , Ortiz-Barrientos, Daniel and Frere, Celine H. (2017) Archipelagos of the Anthropocene: rapid and extensive differentiation of native terrestrial vertebrates in a single metropolis. Molecular Ecology, 26 9: 2466-2481. doi:10.1111/mec.14042


Author Littleford-Colquhoun, Bethan L.
Clemente, Christofer
Whiting, Martin J.
Ortiz-Barrientos, Daniel
Frere, Celine H.
Title Archipelagos of the Anthropocene: rapid and extensive differentiation of native terrestrial vertebrates in a single metropolis
Journal name Molecular Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-294X
0962-1083
Publication date 2017-02-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/mec.14042
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 26
Issue 9
Start page 2466
End page 2481
Total pages 16
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Some of the best evidence for rapid evolutionary change comes from studies of archipelagos and oceanic islands. City parks are analogous systems as they create geographically isolated green spaces that differ in size, structure and complexity. Very little, however, is known about whether city parks within a single urban centre drive selection and result in the diversification of native species. Here, we provide evidence for the rapid genetic and morphological differentiation of a native lizard (Intellagama lesueurii) at four geographically close yet unconnected parks within one city. Year of establishment of each city park varied from 1855 (oldest) to 2001 (youngest) equating to a generation time range of 32 to three generations. Genetic divergence among city park populations was large despite the small pairwise geographic distances (<5 km) and found to be two to three times higher for microsatellites and three to 33 times higher for mtDNA relative to nonurban populations. Patterns of morphological differentiation were also found to be most extensive among the four city park populations. In contrast to nonurban populations, city park populations showed significant differentiation in relative body size, relative head and limb morphology and relative forelimb and hindlimb length. Crucially, we show that these patterns of differentiation are unlikely to have been caused by founder events and/or drift alone. Our results suggest that city park 'archipelagos' could represent theatres for rapid evolution that may, in time, favour adaptive diversification.
Keyword Genetics
Local adaptation
Morphology
Reptiles
Urbanization
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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