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Comparative phylogeography of mutualists and the effect of the host on the genetic structure of its partners

Espíndola, Anahí, Carstens, Bryan C., Alvarez, Nadir
Biological journal of the Linnean Society 2014 v.113 no.4 pp. 1021-1035
Bayesian theory, Chiastocheta, Trollius europaeus, case studies, phylogeography, pollination, pollinators
Whether or not species participating in specialized and obligate interactions display similar and simultaneous demographic variations at the intraspecific level remains an open question in phylogeography. In the present study, we used the mutualistic nursery pollination occurring between the European globeflower Trollius europaeus and its specialized pollinators in the genus Chiastocheta as a case study. Explicitly, we investigated if the phylogeographies of the pollinating flies are significantly different from the expectation under a scenario of plant–insect congruence. Based on a large‐scale sampling, we first used mitochondrial data to infer the phylogeographical histories of each fly species. Then, we defined phylogeographical scenarios of congruence with the plant history, and used maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches to test for plant–insect phylogeographical congruence for the three Chiastocheta species. We show that the phylogeographical histories of the three fly species differ. Only Chiastocheta lophota and Chiastocheta dentifera display strong spatial genetic structures, which do not appear to be statistically different from those expected under scenarios of phylogeographical congruence with the plant. The results of the present study indicate that the fly species responded in independent and different ways to shared evolutionary forces, displaying varying levels of congruence with the plant genetic structure.