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Evolutionary and biogeographical history of the land snail family Urocoptidae (Gastropoda: Pulmonata) across the Caribbean region
Uit de Weerd, D.R.; Robinson, D.G.; Rosenberg, G. (2016). Evolutionary and biogeographical history of the land snail family Urocoptidae (Gastropoda: Pulmonata) across the Caribbean region. J. Biogeogr. 43(4): 763-777.
In: Journal of Biogeography. Wiley-Blackwell: Oxford. ISSN 0305-0270, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Antilles;colonization;dispersal;endemic clades;morphological radiation;Urocoptidae;West Indies

Authors  Top 
  • Uit de Weerd, D.R.
  • Robinson, D.G.
  • Rosenberg, G., more

    AimLand snails, because of their low vagility, are ideal organisms for probing biogeographical hypotheses. This study is the first to examine the evolutionary and biogeographical history of a group of land snails from the Caribbean region using molecular phylogenetics. It focuses on the family Urocoptidae that displays extraordinary diversity, particularly in the Greater Antilles. LocationCaribbean region. MethodsWe reconstructed the phylogeny of Urocoptidae based on multi-locus (partial 28S, H3 and COI sequences) analyses (MrBayes, BEAST, GARLI) of 65 species, representing 44 recognized genera. Biogeographical analyses of a subset of the time-calibrated BEAST trees were made both with (DEC and DEC+J analysis in BioGeoBEARS) and without (S-DIVA in RASP) palaeogeographical assumptions. In the DEC and DEC+J analyses we examined the effect of different settings for dispersal between directly connected areas relative to that between areas without direct land connection. ResultsUrocoptidae has been present on the Greater Antilles Arc from at least Middle Eocene onwards. Morphologically diverse and previously unrecognized clades evolved on most Caribbean (palaeo)islands. Jamaica was colonized at least twice. Dispersal multiplier matrices with moderately constrained dispersal between areas without direct land connections describe the phylogeographical history of the family with higher DEC and DEC+J lnL scores than uniform matrices. Main conclusionsUrocoptids constitute an old element of the Greater Antillean biota, predating a proposed GAARlandia landspan connection to South America. The biogeographical history and evolution of Urocoptidae were shaped primarily by the geographical distribution of Caribbean landmasses, in combination with occasional oversea dispersal. Oversea dispersal allowed colonization of palaeogeographically isolated areas, such as Jamaica and present-day western Cuba, where presumably the absence of ecological competitors led to independent radiations into similar shell types.

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