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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 49(2)

Comparative phylogeography of three rainforest-restricted lizards from mid-east Queensland

Devi M. Stuart-Fox, Christopher J. Schneider, Craig Moritz and Patrick J. Couper

Australian Journal of Zoology 49(2) 119 - 127
Published: 2001


Several small isolates of rainforest situated on the central eastern coast of Australia are home to a rich herpetofauna, including four endemic species of leaftail geckos (Phyllurusspp.) and two skinks (Eulamprus spp.). To examine the extent and geographic pattern of historical subdivision among isolates, we assayed mtDNA variation in two species endemic to rainforests of this region (Phyllurus ossa and Eulamprus amplus) and, for comparison, a more widespread and less specialised lizard, Carlia rhomboidalis. There is a clear genetic signature of historical changes in population size and distribution in P. ossa that is consistent with Pleistocene (or earlier) rainforest contraction and subsequent expansion. Although more pronounced in the gecko, phylogeographic structure was congruent between E. amplusand P. ossa. In contrast to the saxicolous, rainforest-restricted P. ossaand E. amplus, the rainforest-generalist species, C. rhomboidalis, does not display strong geographic population structure. The differences in genetic population structure exhibited by the three species are consistent with species-specific differences in ecology.

Full text doi:10.1071/ZO00092

© CSIRO 2001

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