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Does Next-Generation Sequencing Data Support the Case for Parallel Ecological Speciation in Scincid Lizards of the Plestiodon skiltonianus Species Group?

Released: 2016
Citation:
Richmond, J, A Gottscho, T Reeder. 2016. Does Next-Generation Sequencing Data Support the Case for Parallel Ecological Speciation in Scincid Lizards of the Plestiodon skiltonianus Species Group? 2016 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, New Orleans, LA. 6-10 July 2016. [presentation]

Scincid lizards of the Plestiodon skiltonianus species complex are a candidate example of parallel speciation, where repeated independent evolution of the same reproductive isolating mechanism has led to multiple speciation events within the complex. The isolating mechanism is caused mainly by body size divergence between sister species pairs that have diverged in their ecology, suggesting that natural selection has been an underlying driver of speciation in this group. In this talk, we review previous phylogenetic, population genetic, morphological, and behavioral studies that identified the mechanism of speciation within the P. skiltonianus group, and discuss the implications of a newly generated restriction-associated digest sequencing (RADseq) dataset on the existing evidence for parallel speciation. New findings based on the RADseq data challenge this earlier evidence and have led to some reinterpretation about the process and outcomes of speciation in this clade. Our results also raise concern about the phylogenetic evidence for parallel speciation in other taxonomic groups, including some that are considered well-established examples of the process. 
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