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Granollers, Spain

Carranza S.,Area dHerpetologia | Oromi N.,University of Lleida | Oromi N.,University of Liege | Amat F.,University of Lleida | Sanuy D.,University Pompeu Fabra
Amphibia Reptilia | Year: 2015

Patterns of sexual dimorphism and age structure were investigated in two populations of the newt Calotriton arnoldi, endemic of the Montseny Massif (NE of the Iberian Peninsula). In contrast to the Pyrenean newt (Calotriton asper) sexual dimorphism in the Montseny brook newt is characterized by slightly larger females (60.3 ± 0.3 mm; maximum: 68 mm) than males (59.5 ± 0.2 mm; maximum: 64 mm) and more similar body shape between sexes. Both populations and sexes mature at the same age (3 years), show the same age structure and achieve similar longevity (8-9 years). Comparing our results with the framework of the variation of life-history traits in Calotriton, the Montseny newts exhibit fast sexual maturity and short longevity. Curiously, we have found a lack of covariation between age at sexual maturity, longevity and total body size in the populations of Calotriton species. Only in males, age at sexual maturity seems to be affected by altitude, but in an unexpected way: sexual maturation is delayed in populations at low altitudes. Moreover, the age at sexual maturity does not differs between the populations where immatures are terrestrial vs. those where they remain aquatic. Our results suggest that life-history traits in Calotriton newts could be determined by selective factors that play their role at small geographic scale. © 2015 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden. Source


Oromi N.,University of Lleida | Amat F.,Area dHerpetologia | Sanuy D.,University of Lleida | Carranza S.,University Pompeu Fabra
Amphibia Reptilia | Year: 2014

The Pyrenean brook newt (Calotriton asper) is a salamandrid that mostly lives in fast running and cold mountainstreams, although some populations are also found in lakes. In the present work, we report in detail on the occurrence of facultative paedomorphosis traits in a population from a Pyrenean high altitude lake.We compare its morphology, life history traits and mitochondrial DNA variation with a nearby lotic metamorphic population. Our results indicate that the lacustrine newts are smaller and present a less developed sexual dimorphism, smooth skin, and that 53% of the adults retain gills at different degrees of development, but not gill slits. Although both populations and sexes have the same age at sexual maturity (four years), the lacustrine population presents higher longevity (12 and 9 years for males and females, respectively) than the one living in the stream (8 and 9 years). The variation on the climatic conditions at altitudinal scale is probably the main cause of the differences in life history traits found between the two populations. The food availability, which could to be limiting in the lacustrine population, is another factor that can potentially affect body size. These results are congruent with the significant mitochondrial DNA genetic isolation between populations, probably a consequence of the lack of juvenile dispersal.We found low cytochrome b variability and significant genetic structuring in the lake population that is very remarkably considering the short distance to the nearby stream population and the whole species' pattern. We suggest that a bottleneck effect and/or phenotypic plasticity may have resulted in the appearance of a paedomorphic morph in the lake. © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden. Source


de Pous P.,University of Lleida | de Pous P.,University Pompeu Fabra | Montori A.,University of Barcelona | Amat F.,Area dHerpetologia | Sanuy D.,University of Lleida
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2015

Many studies have identified climate warming to be among the most important threats to biodiversity. Climate change is expected to have stronger effects on species with low genetic diversity, ectothermic physiology, small ranges, low effective populations sizes, specific habitat requirements and limited dispersal capabilities. Despite an ever-increasing number of studies reporting climate change-induced range shifts, few of these have incorporated species’ specific dispersal constraints into their models. Moreover, the impacts of climate change on genetic variation within populations and species have rarely been assessed, while this is a promising direction for future research. Here we explore the effects of climate change on the potential distribution and genetic variation of the endemic Pyrenean newt Calotriton asper over the period 2020–2080. We use species distribution modelling in combination with high-resolution gridded climate data while subsequently applying four different dispersal scenarios. We furthermore use published data on genetic variation of both mtDNA and AFLP loci to test whether populations with high genetic diversity (nucleotide diversity and expected heterozygosity) or evolutionary history (unique haplotypes and K clusters) have an increased extinction risk from climate change. The present study indicates that climate change drastically reduces the potential distribution range of C. asper and reveals dispersal possibilities to be minimal under the most realistic dispersal scenarios. Despite the major loss in suitable climate, the models highlight relatively large stable areas throughout the species core distribution area indicating persistence of populations over time. The results, however, show a major loss of genetic diversity and evolutionary history. This highlights the importance of accounting for intraspecific genetic variation in climate change impact studies. Likewise, the integration of species’ specific dispersal constraints into projections of species distribution models is an important step to fully explore the effects of climate change on species potential distributions. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg Source


de Pous P.,University Pompeu Fabra | de Pous P.,University of Lleida | Simo-Riudalbas M.,University Pompeu Fabra | Els J.,Breeding Center for Endangered Arabian Wildlife | And 3 more authors.
Zoology in the Middle East | Year: 2016

The Persian Horned Viper (Pseudocerastes persicus) is distributed from northeast Iraq through the Iranian Plateau to western Pakistan with isolated populations in the Hajar Mountains of south-eastern Arabia. Like the other members of the genus Pseudocerastes, P. persicus is a sit-and-wait ambush feeder with low vagility, a characteristic that often results in high levels of population differentiation. In order to clarify the level of genetic variability, phylogenetic relationships, and biogeography of the Arabian populations of P. persicus we sequenced 597 base pairs of the mitochondrial cytochrome b of four individuals from the Hajar Mountains in south-eastern Arabia and inferred their phylogenetic relationships including 10 samples of P. persicus from Iran and Pakistan, four P. urarachnoides and one P. fieldi downloaded from GenBank. The four Arabian samples are genetically very similar in the gene fragment analysed and are phylogenetically very closely related to populations of P. persicus from coastal south Iran. Biogeographically, it appears that colonisation of the Hajar Mountains by P. persicus took place from Iran very recently, most probably during the last glaciation, when most of the Persian Gulf was above sea level and did not represent a barrier for dispersal. © 2016 Taylor & Francis Source


Badiane A.,University Pompeu Fabra | Garcia-Porta J.,University Pompeu Fabra | Cervenka J.,Charles University | Kratochvil L.,Charles University | And 13 more authors.
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

A molecular phylogeny of the sphaerodactylid geckos of the genus Pristurus is inferred based on an alignment of 1845 base pairs (bp) of concatenated mitochondrial (12S) and nuclear (acm4, cmos, rag1 and rag2) genes for 80 individuals, representing 18 of the 23-26 species, and the three subspecies of P. rupestris. The results indicate that P. rupestris is poly-phyletic and includes two highly divergent clades: the eastern clade, found in coastal Iran and throughout the Hajar Moun-tain range in northern Oman and eastern UAE; and the western clade, distributed from central coastal Oman, through Yemen, Saudi Arabia and north to southern Jordan. Inferred haplotype networks for the four nuclear genes show that the eastern and western clades of "P. rupestris" are highly differentiated and do not share any alleles. Moreover, although the two clades are differentiated by a morphological multivariate analysis, no one character or set of characters was found to be diagnostic. Based on the molecular analysis of specimens from the type locality of P. rupestris rupestris, the name P. rupestris is applied to the eastern clade. The name that should apply to the western clade cannot be clarified until morpho-logical and genetic data for "P. rupestris" is available from the vicinity of Bosaso, Somalia, and therefore we refer to it as Pristurus sp. 1. The phylogenetic tree of Pristurus supports the hypothesis that P. celerrimus is sister to all the other spe-cies in the analyses and that the Socotra Archipelago was independently colonized a minimum of two times. Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press. Source

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