Speciation in gall-inducing thrips on Acacia in arid and non-arid areas of Australia
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Habitat modification mediated by abiotic processes imposes consequences for the diversification of plants and plant specialists. Host plant diversification is expected to be dependent on environmental and ecological constraints that are fundamentally connected to physiography (physical geography). A phylogenetic approach is used to reconstruct ancestral host plant affiliation of gall-inducing thrips that specialize on Australian Acacia. Diversification rate models are applied to gall-thrips clades that are affiliated with different Acacia host lineages. Gall-thrips diversification is reconciled with contemporary patterns of species diversity relating to the different host lineages. Results indicate that diversification on host lineages that are mostly distributed in non-arid areas are best explained by a rate-constant model. However, this model disguised additive effects of rate-variable lineage accumulation that indicated diversification decreases in sub-clades within this larger group. Gall-thrips affiliated with hosts distributed mostly in arid areas were best characterized by rate-variable decreasing net diversification. The work infers parent gall-thrips lineages are less species diverse compared to daughter lineages that tend to be distributed away from the arid interior of Australia. Contrasting ecological and environmental interactions unique to parent and daughter lineages are suggested to influence the mode of speciation and phenotypic diversity represented by each.
- RESEARCH: CIB Associates