Name: Marina Monjardim
Type: PhD thesis
Publication date: 17/12/2021

Namesort descending Role
Fernanda de Pinho Werneck Co-advisor *
Sarah Maria Vargas Advisor *

Examining board:

Namesort descending Role
Cecília Waichert Monteiro Internal Alternate *
Daniel Oliveira Mesquita External Examiner *
Fernanda de Pinho Werneck Co advisor *
JOÃO FILIPE RIVA TONINI External Alternate *
Marcelo Coelho Miguel Gehara External Examiner *
Sarah Maria Vargas Advisor *
Valéria Fagundes Internal Examiner *
Yuri Luiz Reis Leite Internal Examiner *

Summary: The Neotropical Region is one of the most biodiverse
realm on Earth and for reptiles is WHERE the largest number of
species and families occur. Several events shaped the
biodiversity of this region throughout its evolutionary history,
for instance, the formation of the Panama Isthmus, the Andes
uplfit, climate changes during the Plio-Pleistocene period.
Moreover, several hypotheses were proposed to explain such
diversity. Leiosauridae is a family of lizards (Squamata:
Iguania) exclusively distributed in the Chilean and Brazilian
subregions in the Neotropical region, and is closely related to
Opluridae, distributed in Madagascar. To bring a greater
understanding of the biodiversity in Neotropics and improve the
understanding of the evolutionary history of Leiosauridae, we
test hypotheses related to taxonomy, biogeography, and
diversification rates and time, using a robust data from
ultra-conserved elements (UCEs). We estimate the most complete
phylogeny for Leiosauridae. With a dated species tree, we discuss
about the taxonomy of this family, and the taxonomic status of
its subfamilies, genera and species, and the relationship among
them. Although a greater diversity is expected in the tropical
region, we did not find differences between diversification rates
among Chilean and Brazilian subregion clades. We found that for
the deeper clades (subfamilies, genera, clades A and B of
Enyalius, E. leechii, and D. darwinii and other species of
Diplolaemus) those events related to the Andes uplift had more
influence, while for the crown (species) it was the events of
Plio-Pleistocene climate changes. The events triggered possibly
by the Andes uplift, also seems to have had an influence on the
distribution of these groups. Regarding Leiosaurinae, for
example, after its origin in the extreme south of Patagonia, it
seems that they dispersed towards the north possibly due to
environmental changes. Furthermore, such events also influenced
the current distribution of the Enyaliinae, as they contributed
to the formation of the dry Diagonal, as the separation of the
Atlantic Forest in north and south. These findings bring a new
point of view to improve the understanding of the evolutionary
history of this family and of the Neotropical biomes.

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