Large-scale phylogenetic analyses provide insights into unrecognized diversity and historical biogeography of Asian leaf-litter frogs, genus Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae)

Jin-Min Chena,b,c,d,1, Nikolay A. Poyarkov Jr.e,f,1, Chatmongkon Suwannapoomg,1, Amy Lathroph,1, Yun-He Wua,b,c, Wei-Wei Zhoua,c, Zhi-Yong Yuani, Jie-Qiong Jina,c,Hong-Man Chena,c, He-Qun Liua,c, Truong Quang Nguyenj, Sang Ngoc Nguyenk,Tang Van Duonge,l, Koshiro Etom, Kanto Nishikawam, Masafumi Matsuim, Nikolai L. Orlovn,Bryan L. Stuarto, Rafe M. Brownp, Jodi J.L. Rowleyq,r,*, Robert W. Murphya,h,*,Ying-Yong Wangs,×, Jing Chea,c,*

a State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, and Center for Excellence in Animal Evolution and Genetics, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, Yunnan, China

b Kunming College of Life Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650204, China

c Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yezin, Nay Pyi Taw 05282, Myanmar

d State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Bio-Resources in Yunnan, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, Yunnan, China

e Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Biological Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskiye Gory, GSP-1, Moscow 119991, Russia

f Joint Russian-Vietnamese Tropical Research and Technological Center under the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution RAS, South Branch, 3, Street 3/2, 10 District, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam

g School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Phayao, Phayao 56000, Thailand

h Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C6, Canada 

i College of Forestry, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224, Yunnan, China

j Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources and Graduate University of Science and Technology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet

Road, Hanoi, Viet Nam

k Institute of Tropical Biology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 85 Tran Quoc Toan St., District 3, Ho Chi Minh 700000, Viet Nam

l Vietnam National Museum of Nature, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet Road, Hanoi, Viet Nam

m  Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan 

n Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya nab. 1, St. Petersburg 199034, Russia

o North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC 27601, USA

p Biodiversity Institute and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA

q Australian Museum Research Institute, Australian Museum, 1 William St, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia

r Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia

s State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

* Corresponding authors at: Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 21, Qingsong Lu, Ciba, Panlong District, 650204 Kunming, China (J. Che). Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China (Y-Y Wang). Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C6, Canada (R.W. Murphy). Australian Museum, 1 William St, Sydney, NSW

2010, Australia (J.J.L. Rowley).

1 These authors contributed equally.

E-mail addresses: (J.J.L. Rowley), (R.W. Murphy), (Y.-Y. Wang), (J. Che).

PubYear : 2018

Volume: 124

Publication Name: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 

Page number: 162-171

Abstract: Southeast Asia and southern China (SEA-SC) harbor a highly diverse and endemic flora and fauna that is under increasing threat. An understanding of the biogeographical history and drivers of this diversity is lacking, especially in some of the most diverse and threatened groups. The Asian leaf-litter frog genus Leptolalax Dubois 1980 is a forest-dependent genus distributed throughout SEA-SC, making it an ideal study group to examine specific biogeographic hypotheses. In addition, the diversity of this genus remains poorly understood, and the phylogenetic relationships among species of Leptolalax and closely related Leptobrachella Smith 1928 remain unclear. Herein, we evaluate species-level diversity based on 48 of the 53 described species from throughout the distribution of Leptolalax. Molecular analyses reveal many undescribed species, mostly in southern China and Indochina. Our well-resolved phylogeny based on multiple nuclear DNA markers shows that Leptolalax is not monophyletic with respect to Leptobrachella and, thus, we assign the former to being a junior synonym of the latter. Similarly, analyses reject monophyly of the two subgenera of Leptolalax. The diversification pattern of the group is complex, involving a high degree of sympatry and prevalence of microendemic species. Northern Sundaland (Borneo) and eastern Indochina (Vietnam) appear to have played pivotal roles as geographical centers of diversification, and paleoclimatic changes and tectonic movements seem to have driven the major divergence of clades. Analyses fail to reject an “upstream” colonization hypothesis, and, thus, the genus appears to have originated in Sundaland and then colonized mainland Asia. Our results reveal that both vicariance and dispersal are responsible for current distribution patterns in the genus.

Keywords: Species delimitation, Biogeography, Source-sink dynamics, Taxonomy, Leptolalax, Leptobrachella