The Namib Desert is a biodiversity hotspot for many invertebrates, including spiders. Tube‐dwelling spiders belonging to the Ariadna genus are widespread in gravel plains. These sit‐and‐wait predators share a particular behavior, as they spend their life in tunnels in the soil, surrounding the entrance of their burrow with stone rings. We investigated five spider populations taking into account environmental parameters, functional traits, and molecular data. We have chosen the temperature at the soil surface and at the bottom of the burrow, the air humidity, and the soil granulometry to define the environment. The chosen functional traits were the diameter and depth of the burrows, the ratio between weight and length, the thermal properties of their silks, and the number of ring elements. The molecular branch lengths and the evolutionary distance emerging from cytochrome oxidase I gene sequences summarized the molecular analysis. Our study highlights a strong coherence between the resulting evolutionary lineages and the respective geographical distribution. Multivariate analyses of both environmental and molecular data provide the same phylogenetic interpretation. Low intrapopulation sequence divergence and the high values between population sequence divergence (between 4.9% and 26.1%) might even suggest novel taxa which deserve further investigation. We conclude that both the Kimura distance and the branch lengths are strengthening the environmental clustering of these peculiar sites in Namibia.

How soil granulometry, temperature, and water predict genetic differentiation in Namibian spiders (Ariadna: Segestriidae) and explain their behavior

Erminia Conti
Investigation
;
MULDER, Christian
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
PAPPALARDO, ANNA MARIA
Software
;
Venera Ferrito
Resources
;
2019

Abstract

The Namib Desert is a biodiversity hotspot for many invertebrates, including spiders. Tube‐dwelling spiders belonging to the Ariadna genus are widespread in gravel plains. These sit‐and‐wait predators share a particular behavior, as they spend their life in tunnels in the soil, surrounding the entrance of their burrow with stone rings. We investigated five spider populations taking into account environmental parameters, functional traits, and molecular data. We have chosen the temperature at the soil surface and at the bottom of the burrow, the air humidity, and the soil granulometry to define the environment. The chosen functional traits were the diameter and depth of the burrows, the ratio between weight and length, the thermal properties of their silks, and the number of ring elements. The molecular branch lengths and the evolutionary distance emerging from cytochrome oxidase I gene sequences summarized the molecular analysis. Our study highlights a strong coherence between the resulting evolutionary lineages and the respective geographical distribution. Multivariate analyses of both environmental and molecular data provide the same phylogenetic interpretation. Low intrapopulation sequence divergence and the high values between population sequence divergence (between 4.9% and 26.1%) might even suggest novel taxa which deserve further investigation. We conclude that both the Kimura distance and the branch lengths are strengthening the environmental clustering of these peculiar sites in Namibia.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
MUL-160 Ecology and Evolution (2019) 4382-4391.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Open Access Research Article
Tipologia: Versione Editoriale (PDF)
Dimensione 994.38 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
994.38 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/362853
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 10
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 9
social impact