Reconciling phylogeography and ecological niche models for New Zealand beetles: Looking beyond glacial refugia

Mitochondrial DNA (cox1) sequence data and recently developed coalescent phylogeography models were used to construct geo-spatial histories for the New Zealand fungus beetles Epistranus lawsoni and Pristoderus bakewelli (Zopheridae). These methods utilize continuous-time Markov chains and Bayesian stochastic search variable selection incorporated in BEAST to identify historical dispersal patterns via ancestral state reconstruction. Ecological niche models (ENMs) were incorporated to reconstruct the potential geographic distribution of each species during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Coalescent analyses suggest a North Island origin for E. lawsoni, with gene flow predominately north–south between adjacent regions. ENMs for E. lawsoni indicated glacial refugia in coastal regions of both main islands, consistent with phylogenetic patterns but at odds with the coalescent dates, which implicate much older topographic events. Dispersal matrices revealed patterns of gene flow consistent with projected refugia, suggesting long-term South Island survival with population vicariance around the Southern Alps. Phylogeographic relationships are more ambiguous for P. bakewelli, although long-term survival on both main islands is evident. Divergence dates for both species are consistent with the topographic evolution of New Zealand over the last 10 Ma, whereas the signature of the LGM is less apparent in the time-scaled phylogeny.