Historical demography and climate driven distributional changes in a widespread Neotropical freshwater species with high economic importance

Ezequiel Aguiar De Oliveira, M. F. Perez, L. A.C. Bertollo, C. C. Gestich, P. Ráb, T. Ezaz, F. H.S. Souza, P. Viana, E. Feldberg, E. H.C. Oliveira, M. B. Cioffi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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The Neotropical region exhibits the greatest worldwide diversity and the diversification history of several clades is related to the puzzling geomorphologic and climatic history of this region. The freshwater Amazon ecoregion contains the main hydrographic basins of the Neotropical region that are highly dendritic and ecologically diverse. It contains a rich and endemic fish fauna, including one of its most iconic and economically important representatives, the bony-tongue Arapaima gigas (Teleostei, Osteoglossiformes). Here, we evaluated the projected distribution of the genus in different historical periods (Present, Last Glacial Maximum, Last Interglacial Maximum and Near Future) and interpreted these results in light of the genomic diversity and modeled historical demography. For that, we combined species distribution models, population genetic analysis using SNPs and deep learning model selection. We analyzed a representative sample of the genus from the two basins where it naturally occurs, four localities in the Amazon (Am) and three in the Tocantins-Araguaia (To-Ar) basin, as well as individuals from three fish farms. We inferred a potentially smaller distribution in the glacial period, with a possible refuge in central Am. Our genetic data agrees with this result, suggesting a higher level of genetic diversity in the Am basin, compared to that observed in To-Ar. Our deep learning model comparison indicated that the To-Ar basin was colonized by the population from the Am basin. Considering a global warming scenario in the near future, A. gigas could reach an even larger range, especially if anthropogenic related dispersal occurs, potentially invading new areas and impacting their communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1291-1304
Number of pages14
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


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