University of Oulu

Polic, D., Yıldırım, Y., Lee, K. M., Franzén, M., Mutanen, M., Vila, R., & Forsman, A. (2022). Linking large‐scale genetic structure of three Argynnini butterfly species to geography and environment. Molecular Ecology, 31(16), 4381–4401.

Linking large-scale genetic structure of three Argynnini butterfly species to geography and environment

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Author: Polic, Daniela1; Yıldırım, Yeşerin1,2; Lee, Kyung Min3,4;
Organizations: 1Department of Biology and Environmental Science, Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden
2Department of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
3Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Zoology Unit, Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
5Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Barcelona, Spain
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 11 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-11-30


Understanding which factors and processes are associated with genetic differentiation within and among species remains a major goal in evolutionary biology. To explore differences and similarities in genetic structure and its association with geographical and climatic factors in sympatric sister species, we conducted a large-scale (>32° latitude and >36° longitude) comparative phylogeographical study on three Argynnini butterfly species (Speyeria aglaja, Fabriciana adippe and F. niobe) that have similar life histories, but differ in ecological generalism and dispersal abilities. Analyses of nuclear (ddRAD-sequencing derived SNP markers) and mitochondrial (COI sequences) data revealed differences between species in genetic structure and how genetic differentiation was associated with climatic factors (temperature, solar radiation, precipitation, wind speed). Geographical proximity accounted for much of the variation in nuclear and mitochondrial structure and evolutionary relationships in F. adippe and F. niobe, but only explained the pattern observed in the nuclear data in S. aglaja, for which mitonuclear discordance was documented. In all species, Iberian and Balkan individuals formed genetic clusters, suggesting isolation in glacial refugia and limited postglacial expansion. Solar radiation and precipitation were associated with the genetic structure on a regional scale in all species, but the specific combinations of environmental and geographical factors linked to variation within species were unique, pointing to species-specific responses to common environments. Our findings show that the species share similar colonization histories, and that the same ecological factors, such as niche breadth and dispersal capacity, covary with genetic differentiation within these species to some extent, thereby highlighting the importance of comparative phylogeographical studies in sympatric sister species.

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Series: Molecular ecology
ISSN: 0962-1083
ISSN-E: 1365-294X
ISSN-L: 0962-1083
Volume: 31
Issue: 16
Pages: 4381 - 4401
DOI: 10.1111/mec.16594
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: Funding was provided by Linnaeus University (to A.F. and M.F.), The Carl Trygger Foundation (to M.F.), Erasmus+ mobility programme (to D.P. and Y.Y.), and project PID2019-107078GB-I00/MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 (to R.V.).
Dataset Reference: COI sequences were deposited in the NCBI nucleotide database (Accession codes: MZ026157–MZ026168, MZ026170, MZ026171, MZ026174–MZ026200, MZ026202–MZ026242, MZ026245–MZ026261, MZ026263–MZ026290). Raw ddRAD sequences can be found in the NCBI SRA under the BioProject ID PRJNA70744.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.