Glacial refugia and modern genetic diversity of 22 western North American tree species.
ABSTRACT: North American tree species, subspecies and genetic varieties have primarily evolved in a landscape of extensive continental ice and restricted temperate climate environments. Here, we reconstruct the refugial history of western North American trees since the last glacial maximum using species distribution models, validated against 3571 palaeoecological records. We investigate how modern subspecies structure and genetic diversity corresponds to modelled glacial refugia, based on a meta-analysis of allelic richness and expected heterozygosity for 473 populations of 22 tree species. We find that species with strong genetic differentiation into subspecies had widespread and large glacial refugia, whereas species with restricted refugia show no differentiation among populations and little genetic diversity, despite being common over a wide range of environments today. In addition, a strong relationship between allelic richness and the size of modelled glacial refugia (r(2) = 0.55) suggest that population bottlenecks during glacial periods had a pronounced effect on the presence of rare alleles.
Project description: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.
Project description: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 ?ST 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.
Project description:We aimed to reveal the effects of range expansion and subsequent lineage admixture from separated glacial refugia on genetic diversity of Kalopanax septemlobus in Japan, by combining nuclear microsatellite data and ecological niche modelling. Allelic richness and gene diversity were compared at the population and regional level. We also statistically examined these indices as a function of population accessibility to the last glacial maximum (LGM) palaeodistribution reconstructed by ecological niche modelling to test a simple range expansion scenario from glacial refugia. Genetic diversity was highest in the populations of southern Japan and gradually decreased towards the north. However, an additional centre of genetic diversity, when measured as gene diversity, was found in northern Honshu Island, where distinct lineages were shown to be in contact. Positive effects of population accessibility to the LGM range were detected in both diversity indices at different spatial scales. The combined data support independent postglacial range expansions towards the north from the edge populations on the exposed coastal shelf of Pacific and Sea of Japan in northern Honshu during the LGM, which subsequently resulted in markedly low genetic diversity in the northernmost extant range, Hokkaido. The regional increase in gene diversity in northern Honshu is likely to be the result of postglacial lineage admixture. Relative difference in the spatial scales best relating population genetic diversity with the LGM distribution can be explained by a higher rate of allelic richness diversity loss during range expansions and stronger effects of lineage admixture on gene diversity.
Project description:The understanding of the effects of past climatic changes on the distribution of vector arthropods can strongly support the understanding of the future potential impact of anthropogenic climatic change on the geographical risk of vector-borne diseases. The zoogeographical patterns of the European sandfly vectors may suffer the continuously changing climate of the last 140 kys. The former range of L. infantum and six Phlebotomus species were modelled for the Last Interglacial, the Last Glacial Maximum and the Mid-Holocene Periods. It was found that the potential distribution of the parasite was much smaller in the Last Glacial Period L. infantum mainly could persist in the western shelves of the Mediterranean Sea. West and East Mediterranean sandfly species inhabited partly distinct refugia. The Apennine Peninsula, Sicily and the Iberian refugium formed a habitat chain along with the coastal areas of the West Mediterranean Basin. There was no direct connection between the Eastern and the Western sandfly refugia in the last 140 kys. The modelled distribution of sandfly taxa for the Middle Holocene Period can explain the relict populations of sandfly taxa in such Central European countries. The former genetic studies strongly confirm the existence of the modelled glacial refugees.
Project description:Genetic variation plays a significant role in maintaining the evolutionary potential of a species. Comparing the patterns of adaptive and neutral diversity in extant populations is useful for understanding the local adaptations of a species. In this study, we determined the fine-scale genetic structure of 6 extant populations of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) using mtDNA and DNA fingerprints, and then overlaid adaptive variations in 6 functional Aime-MHC class II genes (DRA, DRB3, DQA1, DQA2, DQB1, and DQB2) on this framework. We found that: (1) analysis of the mtDNA and DNA fingerprint-based networks of the 6 populations identified the independent evolutionary histories of the 2 panda subspecies; (2) the basal (ancestral) branches of the fingerprint-based Sichuan-derived network all originated from the smallest Xiaoxiangling (XXL) population, suggesting the status of a glacial refuge in XXL; (3) the MHC variations among the tested populations showed that the XXL population exhibited extraordinary high levels of MHC diversity in allelic richness, which is consistent with the diversity characteristics of a glacial refuge; (4) the phylogenetic tree showed that the basal clades of giant panda DQB sequences were all occupied by XXL-specific sequences, providing evidence for the ancestor-resembling traits of XXL. Finally, we found that the giant panda had many more DQ alleles than DR alleles (33?13), contrary to other mammals, and that the XXL refuge showed special characteristics in the DQB loci, with 7 DQB members of 9 XXL-unique alleles. Thus, this study identified XXL as a glacial refuge, specifically harboring the most number of primitive DQB alleles.
Project description:Processes shaping the African Guineo-Congolian rain forest, especially in the West African part, are not well understood. Recent molecular studies, based mainly on forest tree species, confirmed the previously proposed division of the western African Guineo-Congolian rain forest into Upper Guinea (UG) and Lower Guinea (LG) separated by the Dahomey Gap (DG). Here we studied nine populations in the area of the DG and the borders of LG and UG of the widespread liana species, Chasmanthera dependens (Menispermaceae) by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), a chloroplast DNA sequence marker, and modelled the distribution based on current as well as paleoclimatic data (Holocene Climate Optimum, ca. 6 kyr BP and Last Glacial Maximum, ca. 22 kyr BP). Current population genetic structure and geographical pattern of cpDNA was related to present as well as historical modelled distributions. Results from this study show that past historical factors played an important role in shaping the distribution of C. dependens across West Africa. The Cameroon Volcanic Line seems to represent a barrier for gene flow in the present as well as in the past. Distribution modelling proposed refugia in the Dahomey Gap, supported also by higher genetic diversity. This is in contrast with the phylogeographic patterns observed in several rainforest tree species and could be explained by either diverging or more relaxed ecological requirements of this liana species.
Project description:The Cabrera's water shrew (Neomys anomalus) is a small semi-aquatic mammal whose taxonomic status was recently elevated from subspecies to species; as a consequence of this change, this species is now endemic to the Iberian Peninsula. In this study, we looked at its evolutionary history by combining phylogeography, the spatial distribution of genetic diversity, and species distribution modeling. To perform these analyses, we used noninvasive samples collected across the species distribution range and sequenced partial mitochondrial cytochrome b and D-loop genes. Maximum-likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic trees derived from these sequences indicated that N. anomalus is divided into two main phylogroups that correlate strongly with geography, with two contact zones between the groups that showed limited spatial mixing between them. River basins were responsible for only a small percentage of the structure of the genetic diversity of this species despite its riparian habitat. The nucleotide diversity variation map showed the highest genetic diversity to be in the north of the Iberian Peninsula. Finally, species distribution modeling allowed the inference of an optimal area during the Last Interglacial in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, and multiple glacial refugia during the Last Glacial Maximum. The phylogeographic pattern of N. anomalus is strikingly similar to that of another semi-aquatic Iberian mammal, the Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus), revealing how Pleistocene glaciations could have had equivalent effects on species of similar ecology and distribution. This phylogeographic structure is consistent with N. anomalus having been isolated for long periods in multiple glacial refugia within the Iberian Peninsula, in agreement with the "refugia-within-refugia" hypothesis, and further supporting its status as a distinct species.
Project description:Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is one of numerous wide-range forest tree species represented by subspecies/varieties, which hybridize in contact zones. This study examined the genetic structure of this North American conifer and its two hybridizing varieties, coastal and Rocky Mountain, at intervarietal and intravarietal level. The genetic structure was subsequently associated with the Pleistocene refugial history, postglacial migration and intervarietal hybridization/introgression. Thirty-eight populations from the USA and Canada were genotyped for 13 nuclear SSRs and analyzed with simulations and traditional population genetic structuring methods. Eight genetic clusters were identified. The coastal clusters embodied five refugial populations originating from five distinct refugia. Four coastal refugial populations, three from California and one from western Canada, diverged during the Pleistocene (56.9-40.1 ka). The three Rocky Mountain clusters reflected distinct refugial populations of three glacial refugia. For Canada, ice covered during the Last Glacial Maximum, we present the following three findings. (1) One refugial population of each variety was revealed in the north of the distribution range. Additional research including paleodata is required to support and determine whether both northern populations originated from cryptic refugia situated south or north of the ice-covered area. (2) An interplay between intravarietal gene flow of different refugial populations and intervarietal gene flow by hybridization and introgression was identified. (3) The Canadian hybrid zone displayed predominantly introgressants of the Rocky Mountain into the coastal variety. This study provides new insights into the complex Quaternary dynamics of this conifer essential for understanding its evolution (outside and inside the native range), adaptation to future climates and for forest management.
Project description:Paleorecords offer key information for evaluating model simulations of species migration in response to forecast climatic change. However, their utility can be greatly compromised by the existence of glacial refugia that are undetectable in fossil records (cryptic refugia). Despite several decades of investigation, it remains controversial whether Beringia, the largely unglaciated area extending from northeastern Siberia to the Yukon Territory, harbored small populations of certain boreal tree species during the last glaciation. Here, we present genetic evidence for the existence of a glacial refuge in Alaska that helps to resolve this long-standing controversy. We sequenced chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) of white spruce (Picea glauca), a dominant boreal tree species, in 24 forest stands across northwestern North America. The majority of cpDNA haplotypes are unique, and haplotype diversity is relatively high in Alaska, arguing against the possibility that this species migrated into the region from areas south of the Laurentide Ice Sheet after the end of the last glaciation. Thus, white spruce apparently survived long glacial episodes under climatic extremes in a heterogeneous landscape matrix. These results suggest that estimated rates of tree migration from fossil records may be too high and that the ability of trees to track anthropogenic warming may be more limited than previously thought.
Project description:Knowledge of the genetic structure and evolutionary history of tree species across their ranges is essential for the development of effective conservation and forest management strategies. Acer mono var. mono, an economically and ecologically important maple species, is extensively distributed in Northeast China (NE), whereas it has a scattered and patchy distribution in South China (SC). In this study, the genetic structure and demographic history of 56 natural populations of A. mono var. mono were evaluated using seven nuclear microsatellite markers. Neighbor-joining tree and STRUCTURE analysis clearly separated populations into NE and SC groups with two admixed-like populations. Allelic richness significantly decreased with increasing latitude within the NE group while both allelic richness and expected heterozygosity showed significant positive correlation with latitude within the SC group. Especially in the NE region, previous studies in Quercus mongolica and Fraxinus mandshurica have also detected reductions in genetic diversity with increases in latitude, suggesting this pattern may be common for tree species in this region, probably due to expansion from single refugium following the last glacial maximum (LGM). Approximate Bayesian Computation-based analysis revealed two major features of hierarchical population divergence in the species' evolutionary history. Recent divergence between the NE group and the admixed-like group corresponded to the LGM period and ancient divergence of SC groups took place during mid-late Pleistocene period. The level of genetic differentiation was moderate (FST ?=?0.073; G'ST ?=?0.278) among all populations, but significantly higher in the SC group than the NE group, mirroring the species' more scattered distribution in SC. Conservation measures for this species are proposed, taking into account the genetic structure and past demographic history identified in this study.