Phylogeographic History of Atraphaxis Plants in Arid Northern China and the Origin of A. bracteata in the Loess Plateau.
ABSTRACT: In China, species of Atraphaxis (Polygonaceae) primarily inhabit arid zones across temperate steppe and desert regions. The complex geologic history (e.g., expansion of deserts) and extreme climate shifts of the region appear to have played an important role in shaping the phylogeography of Atraphaxis. The present study focuses on species-level phylogeographic patterns of Atraphaxis in China, with the goal of determining the impact of past environmental changes, in northern China, on the evolutionary history of the genus. Five hundred and sixty-four individuals distributed among 71 populations of 11 species of Atraphaxis from across the geographic range of the genus were studied using sequence data from two plastid spacers, psbK-psbI and psbB-psbH. The results demonstrate that most chloroplast haplotypes are species-specific, except for some present among widespread species. The phylogeny of Atraphaxis was well structured, and molecular dating analyses suggest that the main divergence events occurred during the late Pliocene and Pleistocene (5.73-0.03 million years ago). The statistical dispersal-vicariance analysis (S-DIVA) results provide evidence that phylogeographic patterns for the genus were characterized by both vicariance events and regional dispersal. The presented data suggest that the rapid expansion of deserts and climatic changes in northern China during the late Pliocene and Pleistocene have driven the diversification and spread of Atraphaxis in the region. The expansion of the Tengger Desert provided appropriate conditions for the origin of A. bracteata. Additionally, a contact zone in the north of the Hexi Corridor was identified as having played a significant role as a migratory route for species in adjacent areas.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The major impact of Plio-Pleistocene climatic oscillations on the current genetic structure of many species is widely recognised but their importance in driving speciation remains a matter of controversies. In addition, since most studies focused on Europe and North America, the influence of many other biogeographic barriers such as the Sahara remains poorly understood. In this paper, climate-driven diversification was investigated by using a comparative phylogeographic approach in combination with phenotypic data in two avian species groups distributed on both sides of the deserts belt of Africa and Asia. In particular, we tested whether: 1) vicariance diversification events are concomitant with past climatic events; and 2) current ecological factors (using climate and competition as proxies) contribute to phenotypic divergence between allopatric populations. RESULTS:Mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data indicated that the crested and Thekla lark species groups diverged in the early Pliocene and that subsequent speciation events were congruent with major late Pliocene and Pleistocene climatic events. In particular, steep increase in aridity in Africa near 2.8 and 1.7 million years ago were coincident with two north-south vicariance speciation events mediated by the Sahara. Subsequent glacial cycles of the last million years seem to have shaped patterns of genetic variation within the two widespread species (G. cristata and G. theklae). The Sahara appears to have allowed dispersal from the tropical areas during climatic optima but to have isolated populations north and south of it during more arid phases. Phenotypic variation did not correlate with the history of populations, but was strongly influenced by current ecological conditions. In particular, our results suggested that (i) desert-adapted plumage evolved at least three times and (ii) variation in body size was mainly driven by interspecific competition, but the response to competition was stronger in more arid areas. CONCLUSION:Climatic fluctuations of the Plio-Pleistocene strongly impacted diversification patterns in the Galerida larks. Firstly, we found that cladogenesis coincides with major climatic changes, and the Sahara appears to have played a key role in driving speciation events. Secondly, we found that morphology and plumage were strongly determined by ecological factors (interspecific competition, climate) following vicariance.
Project description:In Northwest China, aridification and desert expansion play significant roles in promoting desert plant diversification and speciation. However, to date, little is known about the effects of the desert barrier on the population structure of montane, non-desert species in the area. In this study, we sequenced chloroplast DNA regions (trnL-trnF and trnS-trnG) and a nuclear gene (rpb2) to investigate the population differentiation and phylogeographical history of Libanotis buchtormensis, a perennial montane species possessing a disjunct distribution at the periphery of the central desert. In total, 23 chloroplast haplotypes and 24 nuclear haplotypes were recovered from the 21 natural populations and six hebarium specimens. Phylogenetic analysis based on the combined plastid and nuclear dataset revealed two distinct lineages of L. buchtormensis, which inhabit the disjunct areas on both sides of the desert zone. The molecular dating analysis indicated that the divergence between the southeastern and the northwestern populations occurred in the middle Pleistocene, concomitantly with the desert expansion. The geographical vicariance likely contributed to the present disjunct distribution of L. buchtormensis across the deserts in Northwest China. Populations in the southeastern region may have migrated from the northwestern region, and seem to be a peripheral distribution of L. buchtormensis.
Project description:We use analyses of phylogeographic population structure across a suite of 12 mammalian, avian, amphibian, and reptilian species and species-groups to assess the role of Late Miocene to Pleistocene geological history in the evolution of a distinct Baja California Peninsular Desert biota. Comparative examination of phylogroup distributions provides support for previously hypothesized vicariant events produced by: a middle Pleistocene midpeninsular seaway, a late Pliocene northward transgression of the Sea of Cortéz, and a Pliocene seaway across the southern peninsular Isthmus of La Paz. Most of this phylogeographic architecture is cryptically embedded within widespread taxonomic species and species-groups, such that the unique evolutionary history of the Peninsular Desert has been obscured and ignored. The Peninsular Desert can no longer be considered a subset of the Sonoran Desert-it is a separate regional desert with its own unique evolutionary history, ecological arena, and conservation value.
Project description:Molecular phylogeography suggests that Micromys minutus, the sole extant species of the genus, colonized its extensive range quite recently, during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene period. Rich Pliocene and Pleistocene fossil records both from Europe and China suggest rather continuous and gradual in situ phenotype rearrangements from the Pliocene to the Recent periods. To elucidate the discrepancy we reexamined a considerable part of the European fossil record of the genus (14 sites from MN15 to Q3, 0.4-4.2 Ma, including the type series of M. preaminutus from MN15 Csarnóta 2), analyzed them with the aid of detailed morphometric comparisons, and concluded that: (a) The European Pliocene form, M. praeminutus, differs significantly from the extant species; (b) it exhibits a broad phenotypic variation covering the presumptive diagnostic characters of MN16 M. caesaris; (c) despite having smaller dimensions, the Early and Middle Pleistocene forms (MN17-Q3, 2.6-0.4 Ma) seem to be closer to M. praeminutus than to the extant species; (d) the extinction of M. praeminutus during Q3 and the re-occupation of its niche by the recent expansion of M. minutus from E-European-C Asiatic sources (suggested by phylogeographic hypotheses) cannot be excluded. Discussing interpretations of the phylogenetic past of the genus we emphasize the distinct history of the West Palearctic clade (Late Miocene-Early Pleistocene) terminating with M. praeminutus and the East Asiatic clade (chalceus, tedfordi, minutus), and the possible identity of the Western clade with the Late Miocene genus Parapodemus.
Project description:Borneo has gone through dramatic changes in geology and topography from the early Eocene until the early Pliocene and experienced climatic cycling during the Pleistocene. However, how these changes have shaped the present-day patterns of high diversity and complex distribution are still poorly understood. In this study, we use integrative approaches by estimating phylogenetic relationships, divergence time, and current and past niche suitability for the Bornean endemic land snail genus Everettia to provide additional insight into the evolutionary history of this genus in northern Borneo in the light of the geological vicariance events and climatic fluctuations in the Pleistocene. Our results show that northern Borneo Everettia species belong to two deeply divergent lineages: one contains the species that inhabit high elevation at the central mountain range, while the other contains lowland species. Species diversification in these lineages has taken place before the Pliocene. Climate changes during the Pleistocene did not play a significant role in species diversification but could have shaped contemporary species distribution patterns. Our results also show that the species-rich highland habitats have acted as interglacial refugia for highland species. This study of a relatively sedentary invertebrate supports and enhances the growing understanding of the evolutionary history of Borneo. Species diversification in Everettia is caused by geological vicariance events between the early Miocene and the Pliocene, and the distribution patterns were subsequently determined by climatic fluctuations in the Pleistocene.
Project description:Paleogeological events and Pleistocene climatic fluctuations have had profound influences on the genetic patterns and phylogeographic structure of species in southern China. In this study, we investigated the population genetic structure and Phylogeography of the Odorrana schmackeri species complex, mountain stream-dwelling odorous frogs, endemic to southern China. We obtained mitochondrial sequences (1,151bp) of the complete ND2 gene and two flanking tRNAs of 511 individuals from 25 sites for phylogeographic analyses. Phylogenetic reconstruction revealed seven divergent evolutionary lineages, with mean pairwise (K2P) sequence distances from 7.8% to 21.1%, except for a closer ND2 distance (3.4%). The complex geological history of southern China drove matrilineal divergence in the O. schmackeri species complex into highly structured geographical units. The first divergence between lineage A+B and other lineages (C-G) had likely been influenced by the uplift of coastal mountains of Southeast China during the Mio-Pliocene period. The subsequent divergences between the lineages C-G may have followed the formation of the Three Gorges and the intensification of the East Asian summer monsoon during the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene. Demographic analyses indicated that major lineages A and C have been experienced recent population expansion (c. 0.045-0.245 Ma) from multiple refugia prior to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Molecular analysis suggest that these seven lineages may represent seven different species, three described species and four cryptic species and should at least be separated into seven management units corresponding to these seven geographic lineages for conservation.
Project description:The karst areas in the Dinaric region of the Western Balkan Peninsula are a hotspot of freshwater biodiversity. Many investigators have examined diversification of the subterranean freshwater fauna in these karst systems. However, diversification of surface-water fauna remains largely unexplored. We assessed local and regional diversification of surface-water species in karst systems and asked whether patterns of population differentiation could be explained by dispersal-diversification processes or allopatric diversification following karst-related microscale vicariance. We analyzed mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (mtCOI) sequence data of 4 caddisfly species (genus Drusus) in a phylogeographic framework to assess local and regional population genetic structure and Pliocene/Pleistocene history. We used BEAST software to assess the timing of intraspecific diversification of the target species. We compared climate envelopes of the study species and projected climatically suitable areas during the last glacial maximum (LGM) to assess differences in the species climatic niches and infer potential LGM refugia. The haplotype distribution of the 4 species (324 individuals from 32 populations) was characterized by strong genetic differentiation with few haplotypes shared among populations (16%) and deep divergence among populations of the 3 endemic species, even at local scales. Divergence among local populations of endemics often exceeded divergence among regional and continental clades of the widespread D. discolor. Major divergences among regional populations dated to 2.0 to 0.5 Mya. Species distribution model projections and genetic structure suggest that the endemic species persisted in situ and diversified locally throughout multiple Pleistocene climate cycles. The pattern for D. discolor was different and consistent with multiple invasions into the region. Patterns of population genetic structure and diversification were similar for the 3 regional endemic Drusus species and consistent with microscale vicariance after the onset of intensified karstification in the Dinaric region. Karstification may induce microscale vicariance of running surface-water habitats and probably promotes allopatric fragmentation of stream insects at small spatial scales.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Aquatic vascular plants are a distinctive group, differing from terrestrial plants in their growth forms and habitats. Among the various aquatic plant life forms, the evolutionary processes of freshwater submerged species are most likely distinct due to their exclusive occurrence in the discrete and patchy aquatic habitats. Using the chloroplast trnL-F region sequence data, we investigated the phylogeographic structure of a submerged macrophyte, Hydrilla verticillata, the single species in the genus Hydrilla, throughout China, in addition to combined sample data from other countries to reveal the colonisation and diversification processes of this species throughout the world. RESULTS: We sequenced 681 individuals from 123 sampling locations throughout China and identified a significant phylogeographic structure (NST?>?GST, p?<?0.01), in which four distinct lineages occurred in different areas. A high level of genetic differentiation among populations (global FST?=?0.820) was detected. The divergence of Hydrilla was estimated to have occurred in the late Miocene, and the diversification of various clades was dated to the Pleistocene epoch. Biogeographic analyses suggested an East Asian origin of Hydrilla and its subsequent dispersal throughout the world. CONCLUSIONS: The presence of all four clades in China indicates that China is most likely the centre of Hydrilla genetic diversity. The worldwide distribution of Hydrilla is due to recent vicariance and dispersal events that occurred in different clades during the Pleistocene. Our findings also provide useful information for the management of invasive Hydrilla in North America.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Paris (Melanthiaceae) is an economically important but taxonomically difficult genus, which is unique in angiosperms because some species have extremely large nuclear genomes. Phylogenetic relationships within Paris have long been controversial. Based on complete plastomes and nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) sequences, this study aims to reconstruct a robust phylogenetic tree and explore historical biogeography and clade diversification in the genus. RESULTS:All 29 species currently recognized in Paris were sampled. Whole plastomes and nrDNA sequences were generated by the genome skimming approach. Phylogenetic relationships were reconstructed using the maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference methods. Based on the phylogenetic framework and molecular dating, biogeographic scenarios and historical diversification of Paris were explored. Significant conflicts between plastid and nuclear datasets were identified, and the plastome tree is highly congruent with past interpretations of the morphology. Ancestral area reconstruction indicated that Paris may have originated in northeastern Asia and northern China, and has experienced multiple dispersal and vicariance events during its diversification. The rate of clade diversification has sharply accelerated since the Miocene/Pliocene boundary. CONCLUSIONS:Our results provide important insights for clarifying some of the long-standing taxonomic debates in Paris. Cytonuclear discordance may have been caused by ancient and recent hybridizations in the genus. The climatic and geological changes since the late Miocene, such as the intensification of Asian monsoon and the rapid uplift of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, as well as the climatic fluctuations during the Pleistocene, played essential roles in driving range expansion and radiative diversification in Paris. Our findings challenge the theoretical prediction that large genome sizes may limit speciation.
Project description:The marine clam Meretrix petechialis is an important economic shellfish species in Northwestern Pacific, but little is known about its phylogeographical pattern. Here, we analyzed 311 samples from 22 locations along the northwestern Pacific using combined profiling of one mitochondrial gene (the first subunit of cytochrome coxidase, COI) and one nuclear DNA marker (the internal transcribed spacer region 1, ITS-1) to investigate contemporary genetic structure and reconstruct phylogenetic history of this species. The results revealed that two distinct phylogeographic lineages dominated marginal seas-the East China Sea (ECS) and the South China Sea (SCS) respectively. The estimation of divergence time between two lineages was 2.1-3.8 Ma, corresponding to a period of the early Pleistocene to late Pliocene. The vicariance of the two lineages was connected to the historical isolation of marginal seas and sea surface temperature (SST) gradient, pointing that SST might play an important role in maintaining phylogeographical patterns of M. petachialis. Significant overlaps between two lineages were observed in 23° to 29° N, located at the adjacent area of the ECS and SCS, which might be promoted by the connectivity of China Coast Current. However, the influence of ocean currents on mixings between two lineages was limited. In comparison, significant relationships were found between genetic distances and geographic distances if the North and South populations were analyzed separately, result of which might be due to some small reciprocal, rotating flows along coastal areas and special geographical conditions.