The long-tailed pygmy rice rat Oligoryzomys longicaudatus (Sigmodontinae), the major reservoir of Hantavirus in Chile and Patagonian Argentina, is widely distributed in the Mediterranean, Temperate and Patagonian Forests of Chile, as well as in adjacent areas in southern Argentina. We used molecular data to evaluate the effects of the last glacial event on the phylogeographic structure of this species. We examined if historical Pleistocene events had affected genetic variation and spatial distribution of this species along its distributional range. We sampled 223 individuals representing 47 localities along the species range, and sequenced the hypervariable domain I of the mtDNA control region. Aligned sequences were analyzed using haplotype network, Bayesian population structure and demographic analyses. Analysis of population structure and the haplotype network inferred three genetic clusters along the distribution of O. longicaudatus that mostly agreed with the three major ecogeographic regions in Chile: Mediterranean, Temperate Forests and Patagonian Forests. Bayesian Skyline Plots showed constant population sizes through time in all three clusters followed by an increase after and during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; between 26,000–13,000 years ago). Neutrality tests and the “g” parameter also suggest that populations of O. longicaudatus experienced demographic expansion across the species entire range. Past climate shifts have influenced population structure and lineage variation of O. longicaudatus. This species remained in refugia areas during Pleistocene times in southern Temperate Forests (and adjacent areas in Patagonia). From these refugia, O. longicaudatus experienced demographic expansions into Patagonian Forests and central Mediterranean Chile using glacial retreats.
Tasmania is a natural laboratory for investigating the evolutionary processes of the Quaternary. It is a large island lying 40-44 degrees S, which was repeatedly glaciated and linked to southeastern continental Australia during the Quaternary. Climate change promoted both the isolation of species in glacial refugia, and an exchange between Tasmanian and mainland floras. Eucalyptus is a complex and diverse genus, which has increased in abundance in Australia over the past 100 kyr, probably in response to higher fire frequency. Morphological evidence suggests that gene flow may have occurred between many eucalypt species after changes in their distribution during the Quaternary. This paper summarizes recent genetic evidence for migration and introgressive hybridization in Tasmanian Eucalyptus. Maternally inherited chloroplast DNA reveals a long-term persistence of eucalypts in southeastern Tasmanian refugia, coupled with introgressive hybridization involving many species. Detailed analysis of the widespread species Eucalyptus globulus suggests that migration from mainland Australia was followed by introgression involving a rare Tasmanian endemic. The data support the hypothesis that changes in distribution of interfertile species during the Quaternary have promoted reticulate evolution in Eucalyptus.
Though Pleistocene refugia are frequently cited as drivers of species diversification, comparisons of molecular divergence among sister species typically indicate a continuum of divergence times from the Late Miocene, rather than a clear pulse of speciation events at the Last Glacial Maximum. Community-scale inference methods that explicitly test for multiple vicariance events, and account for differences in ancestral effective population size and gene flow, are well suited for detecting heterogeneity of species' responses to past climate fluctuations. We apply this approach to multi-locus sequence data from five co-distributed frog species endemic to the Wet Tropics rainforests of northeast Australia. Our results demonstrate at least two episodes of vicariance owing to climate-driven forest contractions: one in the Early Pleistocene and the other considerably older. Understanding how repeated cycles of rainforest contraction and expansion differentially affected lineage divergence among co-distributed species provides a framework for identifying evolutionary processes that underlie population divergence and speciation.
community phylogeography; lineage divergence; Litoria; Australia Wet Tropics
Glacial refugia considerably shaped the phylogeographical structure of species and may influence intra-specific morphological, genetic, and adaptive differentiation. However, the impact of the Quaternary ice ages on the phylogeographical structure of North American temperate mammalian species is not well-studied. Here, we surveyed ∼1600 individuals of the widely distributed woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) using mtDNA control region sequences to investigate if glacial refugia contributed to the phylogeographical structure in this subspecies. Phylogenetic tree reconstruction, a median-joining network, and mismatch distributions supported postglacial expansions of woodland caribou from three glacial refugia dating back to 13544–22005 years. These three lineages consisted almost exclusively of woodland caribou mtDNA haplotypes, indicating that phylogeographical structure was mainly shaped by postglacial expansions. The putative centres of these lineages are geographically separated; indicating disconnected glacial refugia in the Rocky Mountains, east of the Mississippi, and the Appalachian Mountains. This is in congruence with the fossil record that caribou were distributed in these areas during the Pleistocene. Our results suggest that the last glacial maximum substantially shaped the phylogeographical structure of this large mammalian North American species that will be affected by climatic change. Therefore, the presented results will be essential for future conservation planning in woodland caribou.
The aim of the present study was to use a combined phylogeographic and species distribution modelling approach to compare the glacial histories of two plant species with overlapping distributions, Orthilia secunda (one-sided wintergreen) and Monotropa hypopitys (yellow bird's nest). Phylogeographic analysis was carried out to determine the distribution of genetic variation across the range of each species and to test whether both correspond to the "classic" model of high diversity in the south, with decreasing diversity at higher latitudes, or whether the cold-adapted O. secunda might retain more genetic variation in northern populations. In addition, projected species distributions based on a future climate scenario were modelled to assess how changes in the species ranges might impact on total intraspecific diversity in both cases.
Palaeodistribution modelling and phylogeographic analysis using multiple genetic markers (chloroplast trnS-trnG region, nuclear ITS and microsatellites for O. secunda; chloroplast rps2, nuclear ITS and microsatellites for M. hypopitys) indicated that both species persisted throughout the Last Glacial Maximum in southern refugia. For both species, the majority of the genetic diversity was concentrated in these southerly populations, whereas those in recolonized areas generally exhibited lower levels of diversity, particularly in M. hypopitys. Species distribution modelling based on projected future climate indicated substantial changes in the ranges of both species, with a loss of southern and central populations, and a potential northward expansion for the temperate M. hypopitys.
Both Orthilia secunda and Monotropa hypopitys appear to have persisted through the LGM in Europe in southern refugia. The boreal O. secunda, however, has retained a larger proportion of its genetic diversity in more northerly populations outside these refugial areas than the temperate M. hypopitys. Given that future species distribution modelling suggests northern range shifts and loss of suitable habitat in the southern parts of the species' current distributions, extinction of genetically diverse rear edge populations could have a significant effect in the rangewide intraspecific diversity of both species, but particularly in M. hypopitys.
Recent phylogeographical studies indicated that glacial oscillations played a key role on the phylogeographic pattern of extant species. As most studies have previously been carried out on heavily ice-covered regions, such as in European and North American regions, potential effects of climatic oscillations on species that are distributed on ice-free regions are less known. To address this, we investigated the phylogeographic pattern of an avian species endemic to South China, which was not glaciated during the Pleistocene glaciations. By using 2142 bp mitochondrial DNA, we identified 89 haplotypes defined by 39 polymorphic sites. A combination of high haplotype diversity (0.786–1.00) and low nucleotide diversity (0.00132–0.00252) was detected among geographic populations. Explicit genetic divergence was observed between S. s. semitorques and S. s. cinereicapillus but not detected among geographic populations of S. s. semitorques. Divergence time of the two subspecies was dated back to 87 Kyr which is congruent with the interglacial MIS 5. A weak phylogeographic structure due to strong gene flow among geographic populations was identified in this species, suggesting complex topography of South China has not formed barriers for this species.
Collared Finchbill; East Asia; unglaciated region; phylogeography
Background and Aims
The widely accepted paradigm that the modern genetic structure of plant species in the northern hemisphere has been largely determined by recolonization from refugia after the last glacial maximum fails to explain the presence of cold-tolerant species at intermediate latitudes. Another generally accepted paradigm is that mountain ridges act as important barriers causing genetic isolation of species, but this too has been challenged in recent studies. The aims of the work reported here were to determine the genetic diversity and distribution patterns of extant natural populations of an endangered cool temperate species, Faxinus mandshurica, and to examine whether these two paradigms are appropriate when applied to this species over a wide geographical scale.
1435 adult individuals were sampled from 30 natural populations across the main and central range of the species, covering major mountain ranges across North-east China (NEC). Genetic variation was estimated based on nine polymorphic nuclear microsatellite loci. Phylogeographical analyses were employed using various approaches, including Bayesian clustering, spatial analysis of molecular variance, Monmonier's algorithm, neighbor-joining trees, principal co-ordinate analysis and isolation by distance.
Genetic diversity within populations was relatively high, and no significant recent bottlenecks were detected in any of the populations. A significant negative correlation between intra-population genetic diversity and latitude was identified. In contrast, genetic differentiation among all the populations examined was extremely low and no clear geographic genetic structure was identified, with the exception of one distinct population.
The modern genetic structure in this species can be explained by extensive gene flow, an absence of mountains acting as barriers, and the presence of a wide refuge across NEC rather than multiple small refugia. Intra-population genetic variation along latitudes is probably associated with the systematically northward shifts of forest biomes in eastern China during the mid-Holocene. To determine important genetic patterns and identify resources for conservation, however, it will be necessary to examine differentially inherited genetic markers exposed to selection pressures (e.g. chloroplast DNA) and to investigate different generations.
Fraxinus mandshurica; nuclear microsatellites; latitude variation; historical migration; fossil pollen; spatial genetic structure; genetic barriers
Pleistocene climatic oscillations have played a major role in structuring present-day biodiversity. The southern Mediterranean peninsulas have long been recognized as major glacial refugia, from where Northern Europe was post-glacially colonized. However, recent studies have unravelled numerous additional refugia also in northern regions. We investigated the phylogeographic pattern of the widespread Western Palaearctic lizard Podarcis muralis, using a range-wide multilocus approach, to evaluate whether it is concordant with a recent expansion from southern glacial refugia or alternatively from a combination of Mediterranean and northern refugia.
We analyzed DNA sequences of two mitochondrial (cytb and nd4) and three nuclear (acm4, mc1r, and pdc) gene fragments in individuals from 52 localities across the species range, using phylogenetic and phylogeographic methods. The complex phylogeographic pattern observed, with 23 reciprocally monophyletic allo- parapatric lineages having a Pleistocene divergence, suggests a scenario of long-term isolation in multiple ice-age refugia across the species distribution range. Multiple lineages were identified within the three Mediterranean peninsulas – Iberia, Italy and the Balkans - where the highest genetic diversity was observed. Such an unprecedented phylogeographic pattern - here called “refugia within all refugia” – compasses the classical scenario of multiple southern refugia. However, unlike the southern refugia model, various distinct lineages were also found in northern regions, suggesting that additional refugia in France, Northern Italy, Eastern Alps and Central Balkans allowed the long-term persistence of this species throughout Pleistocene glaciations.
The phylogeography of Podarcis muralis provides a paradigm of temperate species survival in Mediterranean and extra-Mediterranean glacial refugia. Such refugia acted as independent biogeographic compartments for the long-term persistence of this species, for the differentiation of its genetic lineages, and for the short-distance post-glacial re-colonization of neighbouring areas. This finding echoes previous findings from recent phylogeographic studies on species from temperate ecoregions, thus suggesting the need for a reappraisal of the role of northern refugia for glacial persistence and post-glacial assembly of Holarctic biota.
Podarcis muralis; Phylogeography; Western Palaearctic; Glacial refugia; Mediterranean peninsulas; Genetic diversity; Temperate species
Comparison of mitochondrial DNA variation among populations of three endemic lizard species in Australia's Wet Tropics rainforest reveals clear evidence of population-level response to Pleistocene rainforest contraction and subsequent expansion. This pattern is repeated in two separate rainforest regions (natural replicates), between which populations have been separated for several million years. Despite evidence for isolation in rainforest refugia, historically reduced effective population size, and recent range expansion, little or no detectable phenotypic evolution has occurred among populations, even those isolated for several million years. These observations suggest that long-term isolation per se, even when combined with major reductions in population size and opportunities for drift and founder effects, is unlikely to be the primary process driving phenotypic divergence and speciation of rainforest vertebrates.
Pleistocene glacial cycles are thought to have played a major role in the diversification of temperate and boreal species of North American birds. Given that coalescence times between sister taxa typically range from 0.1 to 2.0 Myr, it has been assumed that diversification occurred as populations were isolated in refugia over long periods of time, probably spanning one to several full glacial cycles. In contrast, the rapid postglacial range expansions and recolonization of northern latitudes following glacial maxima have received less attention as potential promoters of speciation. Here we report a case of extremely rapid diversification in the songbird genus Junco as a result of a single continent-wide range expansion within the last 10 000 years. Molecular data from 264 juncos sampled throughout their range reveal that as the yellow-eyed junco (Junco phaeonotus) of Mesoamerica expanded northward following the last glacial maximum, it speciated into the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), which subsequently diversified itself into at least five markedly distinct and geographically structured morphotypes in the USA and Canada. Patterns of low genetic structure and diversity in mitochondrial DNA and amplified fragment length polymorphism loci found in dark-eyed juncos relative to Mesoamerican yellow-eyed juncos provide support for the hypothesis of an expansion from the south, followed by rapid diversification in the north. These results underscore the role of postglacial expansions in promoting diversification and speciation through a mechanism that represents an alternative to traditional modes of Pleistocene speciation.
speciation; postglacial expansion; phylogeography; Holocene; Junco
Background and Aims
In the Mediterranean basin, the Italian peninsula has been suggested to be one of the most important glacial refugia for temperate tree species. The orchid genus Epipactis is widely represented in the Italian peninsula by widespread species and several endemic, localized taxa, including selfing and outcrossing taxa. Here the phylogenetic and phylogeographic relationships in a group of closely related taxa in Epipactis are investigated with the aim of understanding the role of this refugial area for cladogenesis and speciation in herbaceous species, such as terrestrial orchids.
Ribosomal DNA (rDNA) was employed to assess phylogenetic relationships, and plastid sequence variation in the rbcL–accD spacer was used to reveal phylogeographic patterns among plastid haplotypes using a parsimony network.
Low genetic variation and shared ribotypes were detected in rDNA, whereas high levels of sequence variation and a strong phylogeographic structure were found in the examined plastid region. The parsimony plastid haplotype network identified two main haplotype groups, one including E. atrorubens/microphylla/muelleri/leptochila and the other including all accessions of E. helleborine and several localized and endemic taxa, with a combination of widespread and rare haplotypes detected across the Italian peninsula. A greater genetic divergence separated the Italian and other European accessions of E. helleborine.
Phylogenetic and phylogeographic patterns support a working hypothesis in which the Italian peninsula has only recently been colonized by Epipactis, probably during the most recent phase of the Quaternary age and, nevertheless, it acted as a remarkable centre of diversification for this orchid lineage. Changes in pollination strategy and recurrent shifts in mating system (from allogamy to autogamy) could have represented the mechanism promoting this rapid diversification and the observed high taxonomic complexity detected in the E. helleborine species complex.
Epipactis; chloroplast DNA; genetic variation; plastid haplotype network; mating systems; orchids; plastid spacer; ribosomal spacer
Classical glacial refugia such as the southern European peninsulas were important for species survival during glacial periods and acted as sources of post-glacial colonisation processes. Only recently, some studies have provided evidence for glacial refugia north of the southern European peninsulas. In the present study, we combined species distribution models (SDMs) with phylogeographic analyses (using mitochondrial DNA = mtDNA) to investigate if the cold-adapted, stenotopic and flightless ground beetle species, Carabus irregularis, survived the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in classical and/or other refugia. SDMs (for both a western European and for a Carpathian subgroup) were calculated with MAXENT on the basis of 645 species records to predict current and past distribution patterns. Two mtDNA loci (CO1 and ND5, concatenated sequence length: 1785 bp) were analyzed from 91 C. irregularis specimens to reconstruct the phylogeography of Central and eastern European populations and to estimate divergence times of the given lineages. Strong intra-specific genetic differentiation (inter-clade ΦST values ranged from 0.92 to 0.99) implied long-term isolation of major clades and subsclades. The high divergence between the nominate subspecies and the Carpathian subspecies C. i. montandoni points to two independent species rather than subspecies (K-2P distance 0.042 ± 0.004; supposed divergence of the maternal lineages dated back 1.6 to 2.5 million years BP) differing not only morphologically but also genetically and ecologically from each other. The SDMs also inferred classical as well as other refugia for C. irregularis, especially north of the Alps, in southeastern Europe and in the Carpathians. The coincidences between the results of both methods confirm the assumption of multiple glacial refugia for the studied species and the usefulness of combining methodological approaches for the understanding of the history of low-dispersal insect species.
Factors that determine the genetic structure of species in southwestern China remain largely unknown. In this study, phylogeography and demography of Tylototriton shanjing was investigated from a mitochondrial perspective to address the role of the Quaternary ice ages in shaping phylogeographic history and genetic diversity of Yunnan. A total of 146 individuals from 19 populations across the entire range of the species were collected. We detected four maternal phylogenetic lineages corresponding to four population groups, and found that major glaciation events during the Pleistocene have triggered the intra-specific divergence. Coalescent simulations indicated that the populations retreated to different refugia located in southern Yunnan, northwestern Yunnan, the border region of western Yunnan with Myanmar, and middle-western Yunnan, respectively, during previous glacial periods in the Pleistocene, and these four refugia were not retained during the Last Glacial Maximum. Population expansions occurred during the last inter-glaciation, during which ice core and pollen data indicated that the temperature and precipitation gradually increased, and declines of population sizes started after the beginning of the Last Glacial Maximum when the climate became cooler and dryer. The paleo-drainage system had no contribution to the current genetic structure and the rivers were not dispersal barriers for this salamander.
The longspined bullhead (Taurulus bubalis, Euphrasen 1786) belongs to the family Cottidae and is a rocky shore species that inhabits the intertidal zones of the Eastern Atlantic since Iceland, southward to Portugal and also the North Sea and Baltic, northward to the Gulf of Finland, with some occurrences in the northern Mediterranean coasts eastward to the Gulf of Genoa. We analysed the phylogeographic patterns of this species using mitochondrial and nuclear markers in populations throughout most of its distributional range in west Europe. We found that T. bubalis has a relatively shallow genealogy with some differentiation between Atlantic and North Sea. Genetic diversity was homogeneous across all populations studied. The possibility of a glacial refugium near the North Sea is discussed. In many, but not all, marine temperate organisms, patterns of diversity are similar across the species range. If this phenomenon proves to be most common in cold adapted species, it may reflect the availability of glacial refugia not far from their present-day northern limits.
Present day distributions of Palearctic taxa in northern latitudes mainly result from populations having survived in local patches during the Late Pleistocene and/or from recolonizing populations from southern temperate refugia. If well-studied Mediterranean and eastern European refugia are widely accepted, some recent biogeographical assumptions still remain unclear, such as the occurrence of multiple glacial refugia in Iberia and cryptic refugia in northern Europe during the last glaciations. The Lusitanian snail Elona quimperiana has a remarkably disjunct distribution, limited to northwestern France (Brittany), northwestern Spain and the Basque Country. By describing the phylogeographical structure of this species across its entire range, the present study attempts to identify refugia and subsequent recolonization routes.
Results based on 16S and COI gene sequences showed that the low genetic diversity observed in the Brittany populations should be associated with a recent demographic expansion. By contrast, populations from Spain exhibit several differentiated lineages and are characterized by demographic equilibrium, while the Basque populations are the only ones harboring typical distinct haplotypes. The center of the star-like networks of both gene sequences is occupied by a common ancestral-like haplotype found in Brittany and Spain, which might have originated from the middle of Northern Spain (i.e. Asturias, eastern Lugo and western Cantabria). Estimates of the divergence time between the Spain-Brittany and Basque lineages strongly suggest that E. quimperiana survived the Pleistocene glaciations in distinct refugia on the Iberian Peninsula, one of which is situated in Picos de Europa, and the other in the Basque Country. The occurrence of a northern refugium in France cannot be rejected as of yet.
Present results confirm the Iberian origin of the land snail E. quimperiana and strongly support the emerging phylogeographic hypothesis of multiple refugia in Iberia during the last glaciations. The scenario of a spatial expansion of E. quimperiana from an Iberian refuge located in Asturias to northern areas provides the most probable explanation for the present distribution of this land snail. By harboring distinct haplotypes, the Basque Country populations appear to be of great importance in terms of potential adaptation, long term persistence and hence, the conservation of E. quimperiana.
Pleistocene glacial cycles play a major role in diversification and speciation, although the relative importance of isolation and expansion in driving diversification remains debated. We analysed mitochondrial DNA sequence data from 15 great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) populations distributed over the vast Eurasian breeding range of the species, and revealed unexpected postglacial expansion patterns from two glacial refugia. There were 58 different haplotypes forming two major clades, A and B. Clade A dominated in Western Europe with declining frequencies towards Eastern Europe and the Middle East, but showed a surprising increase in frequency in Western and Central Asia. Clade B dominated in the Middle East, with declining frequencies towards north in Central and Eastern Europe and was absent from Western Europe and Central Asia. A parsimonious explanation for these patterns is independent postglacial expansions from two isolated refugia, and mismatch distribution analyses confirmed this suggestion. Gene flow analyses showed that clade A colonised both Europe and Asia from a refugium in Europe, and that clade B expanded much later and colonised parts of Europe from a refugium in the Middle East. Great reed warblers in the eastern parts of the range have slightly paler plumage than western birds (sometimes treated as separate subspecies; A. a. zarudnyi and A. a. arundinaceus, respectively) and our results suggest that the plumage diversification took place during the easterly expansion of clade A. This supports the postglacial expansion hypothesis proposing that postglacial expansions drive diversification in comparatively short time periods. However, there is no indication of any (strong) reproductive isolation between clades and our data show that the refugia populations became separated during the last glaciation. This is in line with the Pleistocene speciation hypothesis invoking that much longer periods of time in isolation are needed for speciation to occur.
Background and Aims
Four species of Pinus subsection Australes occur in the Caribbean Basin: P. caribaea, P. cubensis, P. maestrensis and P. occidentalis. This study analyses the phylogeography of these species to assess possible colonization events from Central America to the islands and subsequent population expansions during glacial periods driven by both drier climate and larger emerged land areas.
Allele size data were obtained for plastid microsatellites for 314 individuals from 24 populations, covering the distribution range of subsection Australes in the Caribbean Basin.
In total, 113 plastid haplotypes were identified. The highest genetic diversity was found in populations of P. caribaea. Overall, Caribbean Basin populations fit the isolation by distance model. Significant phylogeographical structure was found (RST = 0·671 > permuted RST = 0·101; P < 0·0001). The haplotype network and a Bayesian analysis of population structure (BAPS) indicated different Central American origins for P. caribaea var. bahamensis and P. caribaea var. caribaea plastids, with Central America populations in northern and south-eastern groups. Sudden expansion times for BAPS clusters were close to three glacial maxima.
Central America contains ancestral plastid haplotypes. Population expansion has played a major role in the distribution of genetic diversity in P. caribaea var. hondurensis. Two colonization events gave rise to the P. caribaea var. bahamensis and P. caribaea var. caribaea lineages. Plastid variation in the eastern species (P. cubensis, P. maestrensis and P. occidentalis) evolved independently from that in P. caribaea var. caribaea. Incomplete lineage sorting between P. cubensis and P. maestrensis is apparent. Inferred expansion times for P. caribaea var. bahamensis and for the eastern lineages correspond to glacial maxima, whereas those for P. caribaea var. hondurensis correspond to the beginning of the temperature decrease that led to Marine Isotope Stage 8.
Caribbean Basin; historical demography; phylogeography; Pinus; plastid microsatellites; population genetics; subsection Australes
Genetic markers are often used to examine population history. There is considerable debate about the behaviour of molecular clock rates around the population-species transition. Nevertheless, appropriate calibration is critical to any inference regarding the absolute timing and scale of demographic changes. Here, we use a mitochondrial cytochrome b gene genealogy, based entirely on modern sequences and calibrated from recent geophysical events, to date the post-glacial expansion of the Eurasian field vole (Microtus agrestis), a widespread temperate mammal species. The phylogeographic structure reflects the subsequent expansion of populations that went through bottlenecks at the time of the Younger Dryas (ca 12 000 years BP) rather than the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ca 24 000 years BP), which is usually seen as the time when present-day patterns were determined. The nucleotide substitution rate that was estimated here, ca 4 × 10−7 substitutions/site/year, remains extremely high throughout the relevant time frame. Calibration with similarly high population-based substitution rates, rather than long-term rates derived from species divergence times, will show that post-LGM climatic events generated current phylogeographic structure in many other organisms from temperate latitudes.
gene genealogy; phylogeography; population history; molecular clock; Younger Dryas; Microtus agrestis
Background and Aims
Anatolia is a biologically diverse, but phylogeographically under-explored region. It is described as either a centre of origin and long-term Pleistocene refugium, or as a centre for genetic amalgamation, fed from distinct neighbouring refugia. These contrasting hypotheses are tested through a global phylogeographic analysis of the arctic–alpine herb, Arabis alpina.
Herbarium and field collections were used to sample comprehensively the entire global range, with special focus on Anatolia and Levant. Sequence variation in the chloroplast DNA trnL-trnF region was examined in 483 accessions. A haplotype genealogy was constructed and phylogeographic methods, demographic analysis and divergence time estimations were used to identify the centres of diversity and to infer colonization history.
Fifty-seven haplotypes were recovered, belonging to three haplogroups with non-overlapping distributions in (1) North America/Europe/northern Africa, (2) the Caucuses/Iranian Plateau/Arabian Peninsula and (3) Ethiopia–eastern Africa. All haplogroups occur within Anatolia, and all intermediate haplotypes linking the three haplogroups are endemic to central Anatolia and Levant, where haplotypic and nucleotide diversities exceeded all other regions. The local pattern of haplotype distribution strongly resembles the global pattern, and the haplotypes began to diverge approx. 2·7 Mya, coinciding with the climate cooling of the early Middle Pleistocene.
The phylogeographic structure of Arabis alpina is consistent with Anatolia being the cradle of origin for global genetic diversification. The highly structured landscape in combination with the Pleistocene climate fluctuations has created a network of mountain refugia and the accumulation of spatially arranged genotypes. This local Pleistocene population history has subsequently left a genetic imprint at the global scale, through four range expansions from the Anatolian diversity centre into Europe, the Near East, Arabia and Africa. Hence this study also illustrates the importance of sampling and scaling effects when translating global from local diversity patterns during phylogeographic analyses.
Anatolia; centre of origin; Pleistocene glaciations; chloroplast trnL-F; divergence times; alpine plants; Arabis alpina
The evolution of the savanna biome has been deeply marked by repeated contraction/expansion phases due to climate perturbations during the Quaternary period. In this study, we investigated the impact of the last glacial maximum (LGM) on the present genetic pattern of Vitellaria paradoxa (shea tree), a major African savanna tree. A range-wide sampling of the species enabled us to sample 374 individuals from 71 populations distributed throughout sub-Sahelian Africa. Trees were genotyped using 3 chloroplasts and 12 nuclear microsatellites, and were sequenced for 2 polymorphic chloroplast intergenic spacers. Analyses of genetic diversity and structure were based on frequency-based and Bayesian methods. Potential distributions of V. paradoxa at present, during the LGM and the last interglacial period, were examined using DIVA-GIS ecological niche modelling (ENM). Haplotypic and allelic richness varied significantly across the range according to chloroplast and nuclear microsatellites, which pointed to higher diversity in West Africa. A high but contrasted level of differentiation was revealed among populations with a clear phylogeographic signal, with both nuclear (FST=0.21; RST=0.28; RST>RST (permuted)) and chloroplast simple sequence repeats (SSRs) (GST=0.81; NST=0.90; NST>NST (permuted)). We identified a strong geographically related structure separating western and eastern populations, and a substructure in the eastern part of the area consistent with subspecies distinction. Using ENM, we deduced that perturbations during the LGM fragmented the potential eastern distribution of shea tree, but not its distribution in West Africa. Our main results suggest that climate variations are the major factor explaining the genetic pattern of V. paradoxa.
intergenic spacers; microsatellite markers; last glacial maximum; phylogeography; sub-Sahelian Africa; Vitellaria paradoxa
Quaternary climatic fluctuations have had profound effects on the phylogeographic structure of many species. Classically, species were thought to have become isolated in peninsular refugia, but there is limited evidence that large, non-polar species survived outside traditional refugial areas. We examined the phylogeographic structure of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), a species that shows high ecological adaptability in the western Palaearctic region. We compared mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome b and control region) from 399 modern and 31 ancient individuals from across Europe. Our objective was to test whether red foxes colonised the British Isles from mainland Europe in the late Pleistocene, or whether there is evidence that they persisted in the region through the Last Glacial Maximum.
We found red foxes to show a high degree of phylogeographic structuring across Europe and, consistent with palaeontological and ancient DNA evidence, confirmed via phylogenetic indicators that red foxes were persistent in areas outside peninsular refugia during the last ice age. Bayesian analyses and tests of neutrality indicated population expansion. We conclude that there is evidence that red foxes from the British Isles derived from central European populations that became isolated after the closure of the landbridge with Europe.
► Red foxes show a high degree of phylogeographic structuring across Europe. ► Foxes were persistent in areas outside peninsular refugia during the last ice age. ► British foxes originated in central Europe, becoming isolated after 8200 BP.
Red fox; Mitochondrial DNA; Cytochrome b gene; Control region; Phylogeography; Europe; British Isles
Climate change in the past has led to significant changes in species' distributions. However, how individual species respond to climate change depends largely on their adaptations and environmental tolerances. In the Quaternary, temperate-adapted taxa are in general confined to refugia during glacials while cold-adapted taxa are in refugia during interglacials. In the Northern Hemisphere, evidence appears to be mounting that in addition to traditional southern refugia for temperate species, cryptic refugia existed in the North during glacials. Equivalent cryptic southern refugia, to the south of the more conventional high-latitude polar refugia, exist in montane areas during periods of warm climate, such as the current interglacial. There is also a continental/oceanic longitudinal gradient, which should be included in a more complete consideration of the interaction between species ranges and climates. Overall, it seems clear that there is large variation in both the size of refugia and the duration during which species are confined to them. This has implications for the role of refugia in the evolution of species and their genetic diversity.
cryptic refugia; Quaternary; climate change; speciation; geographical distribution
Pleistocene glacial oscillations have significantly affected the historical population dynamics of temperate taxa. However, the general effects of recent climatic changes on the evolutionary history and genetic structure of extant subtropical species remain poorly understood. In the present study, phylogeographic and historical demographic analyses based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences were used. The aim was to investigate whether Pleistocene climatic cycles, paleo-drainages or mountain vicariance of Taiwan shaped the evolutionary diversification of a subtropical gossamer-wing damselfly, Euphaea formosa.
E. formosa populations originated in the middle Pleistocene period (0.3 Mya) and consisted of two evolutionarily independent lineages. It is likely that they derived from the Pleistocene paleo-drainages of northern and southern Minjiang, or alternatively by divergence within Taiwan. The ancestral North-central lineage colonized northwestern Taiwan first and maintained a slowly growing population throughout much of the early to middle Pleistocene period. The ancestral widespread lineage reached central-southern Taiwan and experienced a spatial and demographic expansion into eastern Taiwan. This expansion began approximately 30,000 years ago in the Holocene interglacial period. The ancestral southern expansion into eastern Taiwan indicates that the central mountain range (CMR) formed a barrier to east-west expansion. However, E. formosa populations in the three major biogeographic regions (East, South, and North-Central) exhibit no significant genetic partitions, suggesting that river drainages and mountains did not form strong geographical barriers against gene flow among extant populations.
The present study implies that the antiquity of E. formosa's colonization is associated with its high dispersal ability and larval tolerance to the late Pleistocene dry grasslands. The effect of late Pleistocene climatic changes on the subtropical damselfly's historical demography is lineage-specific, depending predominantly on its colonization history and geography. It is proposed that the Riss and Würm glaciations in the late Pleistocene period had a greater impact on the evolutionary diversification of subtropical insular species than the last glacial maximum (LGM).
Climatic and sea-level fluctuations throughout the last Pleistocene glacial cycle (~130-0 ka) profoundly influenced present-day distributions and genetic diversity of Northern Hemisphere biotas by forcing range contractions in many species during the glacial advance and allowing expansion following glacial retreat ('expansion-contraction’ model). Evidence for such range dynamics and refugia in the unglaciated Gulf-Atlantic Coastal Plain stems largely from terrestrial species, and aquatic species Pleistocene responses remain relatively uninvestigated. Heterandria formosa, a wide-ranging regional endemic, presents an ideal system to test the expansion-contraction model within this biota. By integrating ecological niche modeling and phylogeography, we infer the Pleistocene history of this livebearing fish (Poeciliidae) and test for several predicted distributional and genetic effects of the last glaciation.
Paleoclimatic models predicted range contraction to a single southwest Florida peninsula refugium during the Last Glacial Maximum, followed by northward expansion. We inferred spatial-population subdivision into four groups that reflect genetic barriers outside this refuge. Several other features of the genetic data were consistent with predictions derived from an expansion-contraction model: limited intraspecific divergence (e.g. mean mtDNA p-distance = 0.66%); a pattern of mtDNA diversity (mean Hd = 0.934; mean π = 0.007) consistent with rapid, recent population expansion; a lack of mtDNA isolation-by-distance; and clinal variation in allozyme diversity with higher diversity at lower latitudes near the predicted refugium. Statistical tests of mismatch distributions and coalescent simulations of the gene tree lent greater support to a scenario of post-glacial expansion and diversification from a single refugium than to any other model examined (e.g. multiple-refugia scenarios).
Congruent results from diverse data indicate H. formosa fits the classic Pleistocene expansion-contraction model, even as the genetic data suggest additional ecological influences on population structure. While evidence for Plio-Pleistocene Gulf Coast vicariance is well described for many freshwater species presently codistributed with H. formosa, this species demography and diversification departs notably from this pattern. Species-specific expansion-contraction dynamics may therefore have figured more prominently in shaping Coastal Plain evolutionary history than previously thought. Our findings bolster growing appreciation for the complexity of phylogeographical structuring within North America’s southern refugia, including responses of Coastal Plain freshwater biota to Pleistocene climatic fluctuations.
Although many species have similar total distributional ranges, they might be restricted to very different habitats and might have different phylogeographic histories. In the European Alps, our excellent knowledge of the evolutionary history of silicate-dwelling (silicicole) plants is contrasted by a virtual lack of data from limestone-dwelling (calcicole) plants. These two categories exhibit fundamentally different distribution patterns within the Alps and are expected to differ strongly with respect to their glacial history. The calcicole Ranunculus alpestris group comprises three diploid species of alpine habitats. Ranunculus alpestris s. str is distributed over the southern European mountain system, while R. bilobus and R. traunfellneri are Southern Alpine narrow endemics. To explore their phylogenetic relationships and phylogeographic history, we investigated the correlation between information given by nuclear and chloroplast DNA data. Analyses of AFLP fingerprints and matK sequences gave incongruent results, indicative for reticulate evolution. Our data highlight historical episodes of range fragmentation and expansion, occasional long distance dispersal and on-going gene flow as important processes shaping the genetic structure of the group. Genetic divergence, expressed as a rarity index (“frequency-down-weighted marker values”) seems a better indicator of historical processes than patterns of genetic diversity, which rather mirror contemporary processes as connectivity of populations and population sizes. Three phylogeographical subgroups have been found within the R. alpestris group, neither following taxonomy nor geography. Genetic heterogeneity in the Southern Alps contrasts with Northern Alpine uniformity. The Carpathians have been stepwise colonised from the Eastern Alpine lineage resulting in a marked diversity loss in the Southern Carpathians. The main divergence within the group, separating the ancestor of the two endemic species from R. alpestris s. str., predates the Quaternary. Therefore, range shifts produced by paleoclimatic oscillations seem to have acted on the genetic structure of R. alpestris group on a more regional level, e.g. triggering an allopatric separation of R. traunfellneri from R. bilobus.
AFLP; endemism; hybridisation; phylogeography; Ranunculus alpestris group; refugia