Mol Ecol. 2022 Jul 23. doi: 10.1111/mec.16623. Online ahead of print.
Geologically recent radiations can shed light on speciation processes, but incomplete lineage sorting and introgressive gene flow render accurate evolutionary reconstruction and interpretation challenging. Independently evolving metapopulations of low-dispersal taxa may provide an additional level of phylogeographic information, given sufficiently broad sampling and genome-wide sequencing. Evolution in the marine brown algal genus Fucus in the south-eastern North Atlantic was shaped by Quaternary climate-driven range shifts. Over this timescale, divergence and speciation occurred against a background of expansion-contraction cycles from multiple refugia, together with mating-system shifts from outcrossing (dioecy) to selfing hermaphroditism. We tested the hypothesis that peripheral isolation of range edge (dioecious) F. vesiculosus led to parapatric speciation and radiation of hermaphrodite lineages. Species tree methods using 876 single-copy nuclear genes and extensive geographic coverage produced conflicting topologies with respect to geographic clades of F. vesiculosus. All methods, however, revealed a new and early diverging hermaphrodite species, Fucus macroguiryi sp. nov. Both the multispecies coalescent and polymorphism-aware models (in contrast to concatenation) support sequential paraphyly in F. vesiculosus resulting from distinct evolutionary processes. Our results support 1) peripheral isolation of the southern F. vesiculosus clade prior to parapatric speciation and radiation of hermaphrodite lineages – a “low latitude species pump”. 2) Directional introgressive gene flow into F. vesiculosus around the present-day secondary contact zone (sympatric-allopatric boundary) between dioecious/hermaphrodite lineages as hermaphrodites expanded northwards, supported by concordance analysis and statistical tests of introgression. 3) Species boundaries in the extensive sympatric range are likely maintained by reproductive system (selfing in hermaphrodites) and reinforcement.