New preprint out on parachuting frog demography in response to the Toba eruption

In this new preprint we use target capture and ddRADseq data to investigate the demography of three species of parachuting frogs in response to Pleistocene geological events. We focus in particular on the Toba super eruption ~74 Kya. Excitingly, we infer a signal of population contraction in all three species around this time. However, we recover a larger demographic response to an older event ~400 Kya, which we hypothesize is in relation to glacial cycles driving montane forest expansion. The biggest innovation in this paper is that we compare target capture and ddRADseq for all our analyses, and we also use simulations to see how accurately we can infer these demographic events. We end up finding that the target capture data is better than the ddRADseq data for estimating the timing of events, but find in general that analyses have a lot of trouble pinpointing when size changes actually happened. Thus, although this is one of the first studies to show with genomic data that Toba affected population sizes significantly, we still can’t put too much confidence in our dates. Maybe with 100s of thousands of loci, instead of 1000 we will have more precision, but it may also just be a really hard problem to solve!

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