" Background: Delimiting species across a speciation continuum is a complex task, as the process of species origin is not generally instantaneous. The use of genome-wide data provides unprecedented resolution to address convoluted species delimitation cases, often unraveling cryptic diversity. However, because genome-wide approaches based on the multispecies coalescent model are known to confound population structure with species boundaries, often resulting in taxonomic over-splitting, it has become increasingly evident that species delimitation research must consider multiple lines of evidence. In this study, we used phylogenomic, population genomic, and coalescent-based species delimitation approaches, and examined those in light of morphological and ecological information, to investigate species numbers and boundaries comprising the Chirostoma “humboltianum group” (family Atherinidae). The humboltianum group is a taxonomically controversial species complex where previous morphological and mitochondrial studies produced conflicting species delimitation outcomes. We generated ddRADseq data for 77 individuals representing the nine nominal species in the group, spanning their distribution range in the central Mexican plateau.
Results: Our results conflict with the morphospecies and ecological delimitation hypotheses, identifying four independently evolving lineages organized in three geographically cohesive clades: (i) chapalae and sphyraena groups in Lake Chapala, (ii) estor group in Lakes Pátzcuaro and Zirahuén, and (iii) humboltianum sensu stricto group in Lake Zacapu and Lerma river system.
Conclusions: Overall, our study provides an atypical example where genome-wide analyses delineate fewer species than previously recognized on the basis of morphology. It also highlights the influence of the geological history of the Chapala-Lerma hydrological system in driving allopatric speciation in the humboltianum group "
Classification: Taxonomy and phylogeny.
Reference in bibliography for species (10)
Piñeros, Victor Julio & Carmen del R. Pedraza-Marrón, Isaí Betancourt-Resendes, Nancy Calderón-Cortés, Ricardo Betancur-R, Omar Domínguez-Domínguez. 2022. "Genome-wide species delimitation analyses of a silverside fish species complex in central Mexico indicate taxonomic over-splitting". BMC Ecology and Evolution. 22(108):. DOI: 10.1186/s12862-022-02063-0 (ffm01185) (abstract)