Investigating species diversity in the Andes

Researchers constructed ancestral range maps for the Pristimantis species of frogs using DNA sequencing data and information on the species' ranges.

Data resources used via GBIF : Data for species' ranges
Pristimantis cruentus
Pristimantis cruentus by purperlibel via iNaturalist. Photo licensed under CC BY 4.0.

An analysis of new and published DNA sequencing data helps improve understanding of how the geological complexity of the Andes may have contributed to the astounding diversity of Pristimantis, a frog genus comprising more than 420 species. Combining GBIF-mediated data with information from the Global Amphibian Assessment and recent publications that describe new records and range extensions, researchers reconstructed ancestral range maps suggesting that the paleogeological changes in the northwestern Andes promoted diversification and dispersion of the genus across a wide swathe of Central and South America.

Mendoza, Á. M., Ospina, O. E., Cárdenas-Henao, H., & García-R, J. C. (2015). A likelihood inference of historical biogeography in the world’s most diverse terrestrial vertebrate genus: Diversification of direct-developing frogs (Craugastoridae: Pristimantis) across the Neotropics. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 85(0), 50–58. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2015.02.001