University of Oulu

Scalercio, S, Cini, A, Menchetti, M, et al. How long is 3 km for a butterfly? Ecological constraints and functional traits explain high mitochondrial genetic diversity between Sicily and the Italian Peninsula. J Anim Ecol. 2020; 89: 2013– 2026. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13196

How long is 3 km for a butterfly? : ecological constraints and functional traits explain high mitochondrial genetic diversity between Sicily and the Italian Peninsula

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Author: Scalercio, Stefano1; Cini, Alessandro2,3; Menchetti, Mattia2;
Organizations: 1Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria, Centro di Ricerca Foreste e Legno, Contrada Li Rocchi, Rende, Italy
2Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Florence, Italy
3Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, University College London, London, UK
4Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e Biologia dei Sistemi, Università degli Studi di Torino, Turin, Italy
5Muzeum i Instytut Zoologii, Polskiej Akademii Nauk, Warsaw, Poland
6Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
7Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Barcelona, Spain
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2022030922725
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2020
Publish Date: 2022-03-09
Description:

Abstract

1.Populations inhabiting Mediterranean islands often show contrasting genetic lineages, even on islands that were connected to the mainland during glacial maxima. This pattern is generated by forces acting in historical and contemporary times. Understanding these phenomena requires comparative studies integrating genetic structure, functional traits and dispersal constraints.

2.Using as a model the butterfly species living across the Messina strait (3 km wide) separating Sicily from the Italian Peninsula, we aimed to unravel the mechanisms limiting the dispersal of matrilines and generating genetic differentiation across a narrow sea strait.

3.We analysed the mitochondrial COI gene of 84 butterfly species out of 90 documented in Sicily and compared them with populations from the neighbouring southern Italian Peninsula (1,398 sequences) and from the entire Palaearctic region (8,093 sequences). For each species, we regressed 13 functional traits and 2 ecological constraints to dispersal (winds experienced at the strait and climatic suitability) against genetic differentiation between Sicily and Italian Peninsula to understand the factors limiting dispersal.

4.More than a third of the species showed different haplogroups across the strait and most of them also represented endemic haplogroups for this island. One fifth of Sicilian populations (and 32.3% of endemic lineages) had their closest relatives in distant areas, instead of the neighbouring Italian Peninsula, which suggests high relictuality. Haplotype diversity was significantly explained by the length of the flight period, an intrinsic phenology trait, while genetic differentiation was explained by both intrinsic traits (wingspan and degree of generalism) and contemporary local constraints (winds experienced at the strait and climatic suitability).

5.A relatively narrow sea strait can produce considerable differentiation among butterfly matrilines and this phenomenon showed a largely deterministic fingerprint. Because of unfavourable winds, populations of the less dispersive Sicilian butterflies tended to differentiate into endemic variants or to maintain relict populations. Understanding these phenomena required the integration of DNA sequences, species traits and physical constraints for a large taxon at continental scale. Future studies may reveal if the patterns here shown for mitochondrial DNA are also reflected in the nuclear genome or, alternatively, are the product of limited female dispersal.

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Series: Journal of animal ecology
ISSN: 0021-8790
ISSN-E: 1365-2656
ISSN-L: 0021-8790
Volume: 89
Issue: 9
Pages: 2013 - 2026
DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.13196
OADOI: https://oadoi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13196
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Subjects:
Funding: Funding for this research came from the Spanish MINECO and AEI/FEDER, UE (CGL2013-48277-P and CGL2016-76322-P to R.Vi.), Marie Skłodowska-Curie Train2Move to R.Vo. (609402-2020), Marie Sklodowska-Curie IOF grant (625997) and the Academy of Finland (decision no. 328895) to V.D., and from the project ‘Barcoding-Italian-Butterflies’.
Copyright information: © 2020 British Ecological Society. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Scalercio, S, Cini, A, Menchetti, M, et al. How long is 3 km for a butterfly? Ecological constraints and functional traits explain high mitochondrial genetic diversity between Sicily and the Italian Peninsula. J Anim Ecol. 2020; 89: 2013– 2026, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13196. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.