Main content area

Signature of post‐glacial expansion and genetic structure at the northern range limit of the speckled wood butterfly

Tison, Jean‐Luc, Edmark, Veronica Nyström, Sandoval‐Castellanos, Edson, Van Dyck, Hans, Tammaru, Toomas, Välimäki, Panu, Dalén, Love, Gotthard, Karl
Biological journal of the Linnean Society 2014 v.113 no.1 pp. 136-148
Pararge aegeria, genetic variation, genome, latitude, microsatellite repeats, natural selection, population structure, univoltine habit, Baltic Sea, Scandinavia
The post‐glacial recolonisation of northern Europe has left distinct signatures in the genomes of many organisms, both due to random demographic processes and divergent natural selection. However, information on differences in genetic variation in conjunction with patterns of local adaptations along latitudinal gradients is often lacking. In this study, we examine genetic diversity and population structure in the speckled wood butterfly Pararge aegeria in northern Europe to investigate the species post‐glacial recolonisation history and discuss how this may have affected its life‐history evolution. We collected 209 samples and analysed genetic variation in nine microsatellite loci. The results demonstrated a more pronounced population structure in northern Europe compared with populations further south, as well as an overall decrease in genetic diversity with latitude, likely due to founder effects during the recolonisation process. Coalescent simulations coupled with approximate Bayesian computation suggested that central Scandinavia was colonised from the south, rather than from the east. In contrast to further south, populations at the northern range margin are univoltine expressing only one generation per year. This suggests either that univoltinism evolved independently on each side of the Baltic Sea, or that bivoltinism evolved in the south after northern Europe was recolonised. © 2014 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2014, 113, 136–148.