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Historical human activity shapes the genomic landscape of urban and forest túngara frogs
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  • Peter Moran,
  • Mirte Bosse,
  • Janine Marien,
  • Wouter Halfwerk
Peter Moran
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Mirte Bosse
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
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Janine Marien
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
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Wouter Halfwerk
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
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Urbanisation is rapidly altering ecosystems, leading to profound biodiversity loss. To mitigate these effects, we need a better understanding of how urbanisation impacts dispersal and reproduction. Two contrasting population demographic models have been proposed which predict that urbanisation either promotes (facilitation model) or constrains (fragmentation model) gene flow and genetic diversity. Which of these models prevails likely depends on the strength of selection on specific phenotypic traits that influence dispersal, survival or reproduction. Here, we examine the genomic impact of urbanisation on the Neotropical túngara frog (Engystomops pustulosus), a species known to adapt its reproductive traits to urban selective pressures. Using whole-genome resequencing for multiple paired urban and forest populations we examined genomic diversity, population connectivity and demographic history. Contrary to both the fragmentation and facilitation models, urban populations did not exhibit substantial changes in genomic diversity or differentiation compared to forest populations and genomic variation was best explained by geographic distance rather than environmental factors. Moreover, both urban and forest populations appear to have undergone population declines which are coincident with extensive human-activity around the Panama Canal during the last few centuries rather than recent urbanisation. Overall, our study underscores the importance of considering the historical context in urban evolution studies as anthropogenic effects may be extensive and impact non-urban areas on both recent and older timescales. Failure to take this into account when interpreting comparisons between urban and non-urban areas may underestimate the impact of urbanisation.
02 Mar 2023Submitted to Molecular Ecology
07 Mar 2023Submission Checks Completed
07 Mar 2023Assigned to Editor
07 Mar 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
08 Mar 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
31 May 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
14 Jul 20231st Revision Received
26 Jul 2023Submission Checks Completed
26 Jul 2023Assigned to Editor
26 Jul 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
04 Aug 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
02 Oct 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
21 Nov 20232nd Revision Received
22 Nov 2023Submission Checks Completed
22 Nov 2023Assigned to Editor
22 Nov 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending