Inferring the demographic history of an oligophagous grasshopper: Effects of climatic niche stability and host-plant distribution
Abstract Understanding the consequences of past environmental changes on the abiotic and biotic components of the landscape and deciphering their impacts on the demographic trajectories of species is a major issue in evolutionary biogeography. In this study, we combine nuclear and mitochondrial genetic data to study the phylogeographical structure and lineage-specific demographic histories of the scrub-legume grasshopper ( Chorthippus binotatus binotatus ), a montane taxon distributed in the Iberian Peninsula and France that exclusively feeds on certain scrub-legume species. Genetic data and paleo-distribution modelling indicate the presence of four main lineages that seem to have diverged in allopatry and long-term persisted in Iberian and French refugia since the Mid Pleistocene. Comparisons of different demographic hypotheses in an Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) framework supported a population bottleneck in the northwestern French clade and paleo-distribution modelling indicate that the populations of this lineage have experienced more severe environmental fluctuations during the last 21 000 years than those from the Iberian Peninsula. Accordingly, we found that nuclear genetic diversity of the populations of scrub-legume grasshopper is positively associated with local stability of suitable habitats defined by both Pleistocene climate changes and historical distributional shifts of host-plant species. Overall, our study highlights the importance of integrating the potential effects of abiotic (i.e. climate and geography) and biotic components (i.e. inter-specific interactions) into the study of the evolutionary and demographic history of specialist taxa with narrow ecological requirements. Highlights Lineages have diverged in allopatry and long-term persisted in refugia. Northern French populations experienced severe environmental fluctuations since LGM. Genetic diversity was explained by local stability of suitable habitats. Distributional shifts of host-plants impacted on the demography of the grasshopper. Graphical abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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