Image_1_Climatic and Soil Factors Shape the Demographical History and Genetic Diversity of a Deciduous Oak (Quercus liaotungensis) in Northern China.TIF (359.66 kB)
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Image_1_Climatic and Soil Factors Shape the Demographical History and Genetic Diversity of a Deciduous Oak (Quercus liaotungensis) in Northern China.TIF

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posted on 25.10.2018, 06:06 by Jia Yang, Lucía Vázquez, Li Feng, Zhanlin Liu, Guifang Zhao

Past and current climatic changes have affected the demography, patterns of genetic diversity, and genetic structure of extant species. The study of these processes provides valuable information to forecast evolutionary changes and to identify conservation priorities. Here, we sequenced two functional nuclear genes and four chloroplast DNA regions for 105 samples from 21 populations of Quercus liaotungensis across its distribution range. Coalescent-based Bayesian analysis, approximate Bayesian computation (ABC), and ecological niche modeling (ENM) were integrated to investigate the genetic patterns and demographical history of this species. Association estimates including Mantel tests and multiple linear regressions were used to infer the effects of geographical and ecological factors on temporal genetic variation and diversity of this oak species. Based on multiple loci, Q. liaotungensis populations clustered into two phylogenetic groups; this grouping pattern could be the result of adaptation to habitats with different temperature and precipitation seasonality conditions. Demographical reconstructions and ENMs suggest an expansion decline trend of this species during the Quaternary climatic oscillations. Association analyses based on nuclear data indicated that intraspecific genetic differentiation of Q. liaotungensis was clearly correlated with ecological distance; specifically, the genetic diversity of this species was significantly correlated with temperature seasonality and soil pH, but negatively correlated with precipitation. Our study highlights the impact of Pleistocene climate oscillations on the demographic history of a tree species in Northern China, and suggests that climatic and soil conditions are the major factors shaping the genetic diversity and population structure of Q. liaotungensis.

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