Postglacial recolonization shaped the genetic diversity of the winter moth (Operophtera brumata) in Europe
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Ecology and Evolution
Changes in climate conditions, particularly during the Quaternary climatic oscillations, have long been recognized to be important for shaping patterns of species diversity. For species residing in the western Palearctic, two commonly observed genetic patterns resulting from these cycles are as follows: (1) that the numbers and distributions of genetic lineages correspond with the use of geographically distinct glacial refugia and (2) that southern populations are generally more diverse than northern populations (the "southern richness, northern purity" paradigm). To determine whether these patterns hold true for the widespread pest species the winter moth (Operophtera brumata), we genotyped 699 individual winter moths collected from 15 Eurasian countries with 24 polymorphic microsatellite loci. We find strong evidence for the presence of two major genetic clusters that diverged ∼18 to ∼22 ka, with evidence that secondary contact (i.e., hybridization) resumed ∼ 5 ka along a well-established hybrid zone in Central Europe. This pattern supports the hypothesis that contemporary populations descend from populations that resided in distinct glacial refugia. However, unlike many previous studies of postglacial recolonization, we found no evidence for the "southern richness, northern purity" paradigm. We also find evidence for ongoing gene flow between populations in adjacent Eurasian countries, suggesting that long-distance dispersal plays an important part in shaping winter moth genetic diversity. In addition, we find that this gene flow is predominantly in a west-to- east direction, suggesting that recently debated reports of cyclical outbreaks of winter moth spreading from east to west across Europe are not the result of dispersal.
Andersen, Jeremy C.; Havill, Nathan P.; Caccone, Adalgisa; Elkinton, Joseph S. 2017. Postglacial recolonization shaped the genetic diversity of the winter moth (Operophtera brumata) in Europe. Ecology and Evolution. 7(10): 3312-3323. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2860.