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Origin and Diversification of Dung Beetles in Madagascar.

Miraldo A, Wirta H, Hanski I - Insects (2011)

Bottom Line: We discuss the likely mechanisms of speciation and the ecological characteristics of the extant communities, emphasizing the role of adaptation along environmental gradients and allopatric speciation in generating the exceptionally high beta diversity in Malagasy dung beetles.Phylogeographic analyses of selected species reveal complex patterns with evidence for genetic introgression between old taxa.The introduction of cattle to Madagascar 1500 years ago created a new abundant resource, onto which a few species haveshifted and thereby been able to greatly expand their geographical ranges.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Metapopulation Research Group, Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 65, FI-00014, Finland. andreia.miraldo@helsinki.fi.

ABSTRACT
Madagascar has a rich fauna of dung beetles (Scarabaeinae and Aphodiinae) withalmost 300 species described to date. Like most other taxa in Madagascar, dung beetles exhibit an exceptionally high level of endemism (96% of the species). Here,we review the current knowledge of the origin and diversification of Malagasy dung beetles. Based on molecular phylogenies, the extant dung beetles originate from eight colonizations, of which four have given rise to extensive radiations. These radiations have occurred in wet forests, while the few extant species in the less successfulradiations occur in open and semi-open habitats. We discuss the likely mechanisms of speciation and the ecological characteristics of the extant communities, emphasizing the role of adaptation along environmental gradients and allopatric speciation in generating the exceptionally high beta diversity in Malagasy dung beetles. Phylogeographic analyses of selected species reveal complex patterns with evidence for genetic introgression between old taxa. The introduction of cattle to Madagascar 1500 years ago created a new abundant resource, onto which a few species haveshifted and thereby been able to greatly expand their geographical ranges.

No MeSH data available.


Dung beetles of Madagascar. Photographs of several Canthonini and Helictopleurina species endemic to Madagascar.
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f3-insects-02-00112: Dung beetles of Madagascar. Photographs of several Canthonini and Helictopleurina species endemic to Madagascar.

Mentions: Dung beetles are a great example of Madagascar's biological uniqueness: of the almost 300 species described to date, 285 (96%) are endemic, with several endemic genera and 1 endemic subtribe (Helictopleurina in the tribe Oniticellini) (Figure A1). In recent years, knowledge of Malagasy dung beetles has increased greatly with the publication of taxonomic revisions [16–25], reconstruction of molecular phylogenies [24,26–28], as well as phylogeographic [29–31] and ecological studies [32–35]. Here we review and summarize the current knowledge on the ecology and evolutionary biology of dung beetles in Madagascar. We start by describing the composition and structure of Malagasy dung beetle communities, next we discuss their evolutionary origin and compare successful vs. unsuccessful radiations, and we conclude by discussing the likely ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that are responsible for the distributional patterns we observe today.


Origin and Diversification of Dung Beetles in Madagascar.

Miraldo A, Wirta H, Hanski I - Insects (2011)

Dung beetles of Madagascar. Photographs of several Canthonini and Helictopleurina species endemic to Madagascar.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4553453&req=5

f3-insects-02-00112: Dung beetles of Madagascar. Photographs of several Canthonini and Helictopleurina species endemic to Madagascar.
Mentions: Dung beetles are a great example of Madagascar's biological uniqueness: of the almost 300 species described to date, 285 (96%) are endemic, with several endemic genera and 1 endemic subtribe (Helictopleurina in the tribe Oniticellini) (Figure A1). In recent years, knowledge of Malagasy dung beetles has increased greatly with the publication of taxonomic revisions [16–25], reconstruction of molecular phylogenies [24,26–28], as well as phylogeographic [29–31] and ecological studies [32–35]. Here we review and summarize the current knowledge on the ecology and evolutionary biology of dung beetles in Madagascar. We start by describing the composition and structure of Malagasy dung beetle communities, next we discuss their evolutionary origin and compare successful vs. unsuccessful radiations, and we conclude by discussing the likely ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that are responsible for the distributional patterns we observe today.

Bottom Line: We discuss the likely mechanisms of speciation and the ecological characteristics of the extant communities, emphasizing the role of adaptation along environmental gradients and allopatric speciation in generating the exceptionally high beta diversity in Malagasy dung beetles.Phylogeographic analyses of selected species reveal complex patterns with evidence for genetic introgression between old taxa.The introduction of cattle to Madagascar 1500 years ago created a new abundant resource, onto which a few species haveshifted and thereby been able to greatly expand their geographical ranges.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Metapopulation Research Group, Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 65, FI-00014, Finland. andreia.miraldo@helsinki.fi.

ABSTRACT
Madagascar has a rich fauna of dung beetles (Scarabaeinae and Aphodiinae) withalmost 300 species described to date. Like most other taxa in Madagascar, dung beetles exhibit an exceptionally high level of endemism (96% of the species). Here,we review the current knowledge of the origin and diversification of Malagasy dung beetles. Based on molecular phylogenies, the extant dung beetles originate from eight colonizations, of which four have given rise to extensive radiations. These radiations have occurred in wet forests, while the few extant species in the less successfulradiations occur in open and semi-open habitats. We discuss the likely mechanisms of speciation and the ecological characteristics of the extant communities, emphasizing the role of adaptation along environmental gradients and allopatric speciation in generating the exceptionally high beta diversity in Malagasy dung beetles. Phylogeographic analyses of selected species reveal complex patterns with evidence for genetic introgression between old taxa. The introduction of cattle to Madagascar 1500 years ago created a new abundant resource, onto which a few species haveshifted and thereby been able to greatly expand their geographical ranges.

No MeSH data available.