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Deciphering the evolution of birdwing butterflies 150 years after Alfred Russel Wallace.

Condamine FL, Toussaint EF, Clamens AL, Genson G, Sperling FA, Kergoat GJ - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: We demonstrated a pattern of spatio-temporal habitat dynamics that continuously created or erased habitats suitable for birdwing biodiversity.Since birdwings were extinction-prone during the Miocene (warmer temperatures and elevated sea levels), the cooling period after the mid-Miocene climatic optimum fostered birdwing diversification due to the release of extinction.This also suggests that current global changes may represent a serious conservation threat to this flagship group.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Alberta, Department of Biological Sciences, Edmonton, T6G 2E9, AB, Canada.

ABSTRACT
One hundred and fifty years after Alfred Wallace studied the geographical variation and species diversity of butterflies in the Indomalayan-Australasian Archipelago, the processes responsible for their biogeographical pattern remain equivocal. We analysed the macroevolutionary mechanisms accounting for the temporal and geographical diversification of the charismatic birdwing butterflies (Papilionidae), a major focus of Wallace's pioneering work. Bayesian phylogenetics and dating analyses of the birdwings were conducted using mitochondrial and nuclear genes. The combination of maximum likelihood analyses to estimate biogeographical history and diversification rates reveals that diversity-dependence processes drove the radiation of birdwings, and that speciation was often associated with founder-events colonizing new islands, especially in Wallacea. Palaeo-environment diversification models also suggest that high extinction rates occurred during periods of elevated sea level and global warming. We demonstrated a pattern of spatio-temporal habitat dynamics that continuously created or erased habitats suitable for birdwing biodiversity. Since birdwings were extinction-prone during the Miocene (warmer temperatures and elevated sea levels), the cooling period after the mid-Miocene climatic optimum fostered birdwing diversification due to the release of extinction. This also suggests that current global changes may represent a serious conservation threat to this flagship group.

No MeSH data available.


Distributional pattern of birdwing butterflies originally described by Wallace showing species richness west and east of Wallace’s and Lydekker’s lines, and in each important biogeographical unit of the Indomalayan-Australian Archipelago used here.Pictures of birdwing butterflies made by Fabien Condamine. Map drawn with PowerPoint by Fabien Condamine.
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f1: Distributional pattern of birdwing butterflies originally described by Wallace showing species richness west and east of Wallace’s and Lydekker’s lines, and in each important biogeographical unit of the Indomalayan-Australian Archipelago used here.Pictures of birdwing butterflies made by Fabien Condamine. Map drawn with PowerPoint by Fabien Condamine.

Mentions: Ever since Wallace1, birdwing butterflies have become a prime biological model to discriminate factors driving island speciation and distribution patterns in the IAA181920212223. Their distinct biogeographical pattern across Wallacea makes them valuable for studying the geological assembly of the region and the ecological opportunities provided by emerging islands (Fig. 1). The genus Ornithoptera (14 species) is endemic to the Melanesian region, where species diversity peaks in New Guinea, although a few species are found on the other side of Lydekker’s line (e.g. the Wallace’s Golden Birdwing O. croesus in Halmahera). This genus includes the two largest extant species of butterfly, Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing (O. alexandrae) and the Goliath Birdwing (O. goliath), which have a wingspan of up to 28 centimetres. The genus Trogonoptera (two species) is restricted to the west of Wallace’s line, where T. brookiana occurs in the Greater Sunda Islands (Borneo, Sumatra, and Java) and T. trojana in Palawan. The genus Troides (21 species) has most of its species diversity in the Indomalayan region but presents an extensive distribution going northward to India (T. minos), eastward to the Philippines (T. rhadamantus) and has some species crossing through Lydekker’s line into the Australian region (T. oblongomaculatus from Sulawesi to New Guinea). Birdwings are generally strong fliers119 and highly specialized on Aristolochiaceae181920, which are usually toxic for herbivores24.


Deciphering the evolution of birdwing butterflies 150 years after Alfred Russel Wallace.

Condamine FL, Toussaint EF, Clamens AL, Genson G, Sperling FA, Kergoat GJ - Sci Rep (2015)

Distributional pattern of birdwing butterflies originally described by Wallace showing species richness west and east of Wallace’s and Lydekker’s lines, and in each important biogeographical unit of the Indomalayan-Australian Archipelago used here.Pictures of birdwing butterflies made by Fabien Condamine. Map drawn with PowerPoint by Fabien Condamine.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4488763&req=5

f1: Distributional pattern of birdwing butterflies originally described by Wallace showing species richness west and east of Wallace’s and Lydekker’s lines, and in each important biogeographical unit of the Indomalayan-Australian Archipelago used here.Pictures of birdwing butterflies made by Fabien Condamine. Map drawn with PowerPoint by Fabien Condamine.
Mentions: Ever since Wallace1, birdwing butterflies have become a prime biological model to discriminate factors driving island speciation and distribution patterns in the IAA181920212223. Their distinct biogeographical pattern across Wallacea makes them valuable for studying the geological assembly of the region and the ecological opportunities provided by emerging islands (Fig. 1). The genus Ornithoptera (14 species) is endemic to the Melanesian region, where species diversity peaks in New Guinea, although a few species are found on the other side of Lydekker’s line (e.g. the Wallace’s Golden Birdwing O. croesus in Halmahera). This genus includes the two largest extant species of butterfly, Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing (O. alexandrae) and the Goliath Birdwing (O. goliath), which have a wingspan of up to 28 centimetres. The genus Trogonoptera (two species) is restricted to the west of Wallace’s line, where T. brookiana occurs in the Greater Sunda Islands (Borneo, Sumatra, and Java) and T. trojana in Palawan. The genus Troides (21 species) has most of its species diversity in the Indomalayan region but presents an extensive distribution going northward to India (T. minos), eastward to the Philippines (T. rhadamantus) and has some species crossing through Lydekker’s line into the Australian region (T. oblongomaculatus from Sulawesi to New Guinea). Birdwings are generally strong fliers119 and highly specialized on Aristolochiaceae181920, which are usually toxic for herbivores24.

Bottom Line: We demonstrated a pattern of spatio-temporal habitat dynamics that continuously created or erased habitats suitable for birdwing biodiversity.Since birdwings were extinction-prone during the Miocene (warmer temperatures and elevated sea levels), the cooling period after the mid-Miocene climatic optimum fostered birdwing diversification due to the release of extinction.This also suggests that current global changes may represent a serious conservation threat to this flagship group.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Alberta, Department of Biological Sciences, Edmonton, T6G 2E9, AB, Canada.

ABSTRACT
One hundred and fifty years after Alfred Wallace studied the geographical variation and species diversity of butterflies in the Indomalayan-Australasian Archipelago, the processes responsible for their biogeographical pattern remain equivocal. We analysed the macroevolutionary mechanisms accounting for the temporal and geographical diversification of the charismatic birdwing butterflies (Papilionidae), a major focus of Wallace's pioneering work. Bayesian phylogenetics and dating analyses of the birdwings were conducted using mitochondrial and nuclear genes. The combination of maximum likelihood analyses to estimate biogeographical history and diversification rates reveals that diversity-dependence processes drove the radiation of birdwings, and that speciation was often associated with founder-events colonizing new islands, especially in Wallacea. Palaeo-environment diversification models also suggest that high extinction rates occurred during periods of elevated sea level and global warming. We demonstrated a pattern of spatio-temporal habitat dynamics that continuously created or erased habitats suitable for birdwing biodiversity. Since birdwings were extinction-prone during the Miocene (warmer temperatures and elevated sea levels), the cooling period after the mid-Miocene climatic optimum fostered birdwing diversification due to the release of extinction. This also suggests that current global changes may represent a serious conservation threat to this flagship group.

No MeSH data available.