Ericson PGP, Irestedt M, She H, Qu Y
Biol. Lett. 17 (7) 20210089 [2021-07-00; online 2021-07-28]
Mountain regions contain extraordinary biodiversity. The environmental heterogeneity and glacial cycles often accelerate speciation and adaptation of montane species, but how these processes influence the genomic differentiation of these species is largely unknown. Using a novel chromosome-level genome and population genomic comparisons, we study allopatric divergence and selection in an iconic bird living in a tropical mountain region in New Guinea, Archbold's bowerbird (Amblyornis papuensis). Our results show that the two populations inhabiting the eastern and western Central Range became isolated ca 11 800 years ago, probably because the suitable habitats for this cold-tolerating bird decreased when the climate got warmer. Our genomic scans detect that genes in highly divergent genomic regions are over-represented in developmental processes, which is probably associated with the observed differences in body size between the populations. Overall, our results suggest that environmental differences between the eastern and western Central Range probably drive adaptive divergence between them.