Heredity (Edinb) 126 (4) 656-667 [2021-04-00; online 2021-02-09]
Clinal variation is paramount for understanding the factors shaping genetic diversity in space and time. During the last glacial maximum, northern Europe was covered by glacial ice that rendered the region uninhabitable for most taxa. Different evolutionary processes during and after the recolonisation of this area from different glacial refugia have affected the genetic landscape of the present day European flora and fauna. In this study, we focus on the common toad (Bufo bufo) in Sweden and present evidence suggesting that these processes have resulted in two separate lineages of common toad, which colonised Sweden from two directions. Using ddRAD sequencing data for demographic modelling, structure analyses, and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA), we provide evidence of a contact zone located between Uppland and Västerbotten in central Sweden. Genetic diversity was significantly higher in southern Sweden compared to the north, in accordance with a pattern of decreased genetic diversity with increasing distance from glacial refugia. Candidate genes under putative selection are identified through outlier detection and gene-environment association methods. We provide evidence of divergent selection related to stress response and developmental processes in these candidate genes. The colonisation of Sweden by two separate lineages may have implications for how future conservation efforts should be directed by identifying management units and putative local adaptations.