CANCELLED - Guilherme Dias (CIBIO-InBIO/UP) | February 11, 2016 | 15h30 | CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão




Knowledge about species geographic distributions is essential for understanding the ecological and evolutionary causes underlying the spatial structuring of biodiversity. Niche modelling can be useful in the identification of abiotic factors affecting the geographic limits of genetic lineages and give insights on whether speciation or genetic variation is associated with divergence in the ecological niche.
The Podarcis species from the Iberian Peninsula and North of Africa, with the exception of P. muralis, form a monophyletic clade referred to as the Podarcis hispanicus complex. This is a good example of the evolutionary continuum and is an excellent model for the study of speciation. Morphological identification is often difficult, due to cryptic morphological variation but up to date sixteen mitochondrial lineages have been identified, including eleven in the Iberian Peninsula and five in North Africa. Nine lineages correspond to distinct evolutionary units and currently recognized as species or subspecies. Most of them are allopatric or parapatric, with some sympatric exceptions (e.g. P. bocagei and P. guadarramae lusitanicus). If we find that niche of allopatric and parapatric species consistently segregate in environmental space, then ecological adaptation with ecological barriers to dispersion may have a role in species delimitation. Here we apply this approach using the Podarcis hispanicus complex as model to test whether ecological niche envelopes play an role in species differentiation and establishment of contact zones.


Guilherme Dias is currently a PhD student at CIBIO-InBIO/University of Porto and CEFE/University of Montpellier, supervised by Catarina Pinho and Pierre-André Crochet. He is graduated on Biology by the University of Évora and has a MSc on Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution in CIBIO-InBIO/UP with MSc thesis about population genetics of midwife toad.


Image credits: Guilherme Dias