Historical Biogeography of the Frogs of the Leptodactylus fuscus Group

This is the first contribution to the historical biogeography of the Leptodactylus fuscus group based on quantitative methodology, a complete sample of species identified to date, and available phylogeny. In this study we focused on significant vicariant events that occurred at basal nodes, and some necessary movements that should have occurred in the group. The results suggest that the ancestor of the group occupied large areas within the Amazon and Chacoan subregions. Due to several dispersal events, the ancestor distribution range may have expanded to the Caribbean subregion. This expansion could have occurred during wetter periods, when forests were more extensive, which would have allowed the invasion of open habitats within humid forest systems. Furthermore, ecological factors and marine transgressions that occurred during the Miocene could have had a great influence on the current distribution of the group.

Spatial analysis of vicariance. A: Tree of the Leptodactylus fuscus group showing a consensus reconstruction of historical biogeography by vicariance inference. Green squares show disjunction; red empty squares show the nodes ignored by the program. B–D: Hypothetical barrier at vicariant node 71 (B), 68 (C) and 55 (D); red and blue dots show disjunct sister clades.

Read the full article, published by Zoological Studies, here

Follow Zoological Studies on Twitter @ZooStudies and Facebook