Dispersal history of a spider (Stegodyphus lineatus) across contiguous deserts: Vicariance and range expansion

Jes Johannesen, Yael Lubin, Tilmann Laufs, Alfred Seitz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Scopus citations


    Israel marks a crossroads between three continents encompassing several phytogeographical and zoogeographical zones. In this complex area, the flow of species from different biogeographical regions creates opportunities to study how geographical division and colonization routes affect current distribution and structure of resident populations of organisms associated with desert and arid environments, habitats that may have persisted throughout Pleistocene glacial periods. The present paper analyses the population history of the spider Stegodyphus lineatus in the contiguous Negev and Judean deserts in Israel using allozyme and mtDNA variation. The distinct patterns of variation indicate that Judean and Negev populations are vicariant lineages. The residence time was longer in Judea, where populations were more polymorphic for mtDNA, showed isolation by distance and were less structured than in the Negev. The Negev population, possibly linked to other Mediterranean populations of S. lineatus, consisted of two subdivisions derived from a recent eastward expansion across the central Negev watershed. Despite differences in age and level of structure, all lineages show similar dispersal processes dominated by restricted gene flow. The distribution patterns of allozyme and mtDNA markers are unrelated to geographical patterns of precipitation and vegetation. Rather, they follow large-scale topographic features, namely the water divide between Mediterranean and Afro-Syrian rift drainages and between eastern and western Negev drainages.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)739-754
    Number of pages16
    JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 1 Apr 2005


    • Allozymes
    • Eresidae
    • Gene diversity
    • Genetic structure
    • Israel
    • Mismatch distribution
    • Nested clade analysis
    • Phylogeography
    • Population age
    • Population expansion
    • mtDNA

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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