Image_1_Climate Is Not All: Evidence From Phylogeography of Rhodiola fastigiata (Crassulaceae) and Comparison to Its Closest Relatives.TIF (1.77 MB)
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Image_1_Climate Is Not All: Evidence From Phylogeography of Rhodiola fastigiata (Crassulaceae) and Comparison to Its Closest Relatives.TIF

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posted on 10.04.2018, 09:08 authored by Jian-Qiang Zhang, Da-Lv Zhong, Wei-Jie Song, Ruo-Wei Zhu, Wei-Yue Sun

How geological events and climate oscillations in the Pleistocene glaciation shaped the geographic distribution of genetic variation of species on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) and its adjacent areas has been extensively studied. However, little studies have investigated whether closely related species in the same genus with similar physiological and life history traits responded similarly to the glacial climatic oscillations. If this is not the case, we would expect that the population histories of studied species were not driven by extrinsic environmental changes alone. Here we conducted a phylogeographic study of a succulent alpine plant Rhodiola fastigiata, using sequences from chloroplast genome and nrITS region, as well as ecological niche modeling. The results of R. fastigiata were compared to other congeneric species that have been studied, especially to R. alsia and R. crenulata. We found that for both markers, two geographic groups could be revealed, corresponding to the QTP plateau and the Hengduan Mountains, respectively, indicating isolated refugia in those two areas. The two groups diverged 1.23 Mya during the Pleistocene. We detected no significant population expansion by mismatch distribution analysis and Bayesian Skyline Plot. We found that even these similar species with similar physiological and life history traits have had different demographic histories in the Quaternary glacial periods. Our comparative phylogeographic study sheds new lights into phylogeographic research that extrinsic environmental changes are not the only factor that can drive population demography, and other factors, such as coevolved interactions between plants and their specialized pathogens, that probably played a role need to be examined with more case studies.

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