Genomic analysis of demographic history and ecological niche modeling in the endangered Chinese Grouse Tetrastes sewerzowi.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The Quaternary had worldwide consequences in forming the contemporary diversity of many populations, species and communities, which is characterized by marked climatic oscillations between glacial and interglacial periods. The origin and evolution of biodiversity in mountainous areas are highly dependent on historical orogenesis and associated climatic changes. The Chinese grouse Tetrastes sewerzowi is a forest-dwelling species endemic to the mountains to the east of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which has been listed as Near Threatened with a decreasing trend by the IUCN because of ongoing deforestation and fragmentation of coniferous forests. It is important to place current population status into a broader ecological and evolutionary context to understand their demographic history. RESULTS:Analyses of the Chinese Grouse genome revealed fluctuations throughout the Pleistocene in effective population size. Populations decreased during early to middle Pleistocene but showed an expansion during late Pleistocene which was then followed by a sharp decline during the last glacial maximum (LGM). Ecological niche modeling indicated that a suitable habitat shift between high altitude regions to low altitude regions was due to a changing climate. This result parallels patterns of population size change in Chinese Grouse estimated from PSMC modelling, which suggested an expansion in population size from the last interglacial period (LIG) and then a peak and a bottleneck occurring at the last glacial maximum (LGM). Furthermore, the present-day distribution of Chinese Grouse is greatly reduced and fragmented. It will likely become even more fragmented in the future since coniferous forest cover is threatened in the region of their distribution and the availability of such habitat restricts their ecological niche. CONCLUSIONS:The Chinese Grouse have experienced substantial population size changes from the beginning to the LIG and reached a peak before the LGM. A sharp decrease and bottleneck occurred during the LGM, when the coniferous forests were subjected to extensive loss. The results inferred from the whole genome sequencing and species distribution models both support historical population fluctuations. The distribution of the Chinese Grouse is strongly dependent on the coniferous forest cover. To protect the fragmented coniferous forests is an essential action to protect the Chinese Grouse.
Project description:Studying demographic history of species provides insight into how the past has shaped the current levels of overall biodiversity and genetic composition of species, but also how these species may react to future perturbations. Here we investigated the demographic history of the willow grouse (Lagopus lagopus), rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta), and black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) through the Late Pleistocene using two complementary methods and whole genome data. Species distribution modeling (SDM) allowed us to estimate the total range size during the Last Interglacial (LIG) and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) as well as to indicate potential population subdivisions. Pairwise Sequentially Markovian Coalescent (PSMC) allowed us to assess fluctuations in effective population size across the same period. Additionally, we used SDM to forecast the effect of future climate change on the three species over the next 50 years. We found that SDM predicts the largest range size for the cold-adapted willow grouse and rock ptarmigan during the LGM. PSMC captured intraspecific population dynamics within the last glacial period, such that the willow grouse and rock ptarmigan showed multiple bottlenecks signifying recolonization events following the termination of the LGM. We also see signals of population subdivision during the last glacial period in the black grouse, but more data are needed to strengthen this hypothesis. All three species are likely to experience range contractions under future warming, with the strongest effect on willow grouse and rock ptarmigan due to their limited potential for northward expansion. Overall, by combining these two modeling approaches, we have provided a multifaceted examination of the biogeography of these species and how they have responded to climate change in the past. These results help us understand how cold-adapted species may respond to future climate changes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The glacial-interglacial cycles in the Pleistocene caused repeated range expansion and contraction of species in several regions in the world. However, it remains uncertain whether such climate oscillations had similar impact on East Asian biota, despite its widely recognized importance in global biodiversity. Here we use both molecular and ecological niche profiles on 11 East Asian avian species with various elevational ranges to reveal their response to the late Pleistocene climate changes. RESULTS:The ecological niche models (ENM) consistently showed that these avian species might substantially contract their ranges to the south during the Last Interglacial period (LIG) and expanded their northern range margins through the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), leading to the LGM ranges observed for all 11 species. Consistently, coalescent simulations based on 25-30 nuclear genes retrieved signatures of significant population growth through the last glacial period across all species studied. Climate statistics suggested that high climatic variability during the LIG and a relatively mild climate at the LGM potentially explained the historical population dynamics of these birds. CONCLUSIONS:This is the first study based on multiple species and both lines of ecological niche profiles and genetic data to characterize the unique response of East Asian biota to late Pleistocene climate. The present study highlights regional differences in the evolutionary consequence of climate change during the last glacial cycle and implies that global warming might pose a great risk to species in this region given potentially higher climatic variation in the future analogous to that during the LIG.
Project description:Although a number of studies have assessed the effects of geological and climatic changes on species distributions in East Asian, we still have limited knowledge of how these changes have impacted avian species in south-western and southern China. Here, we aim to study paleo-climatic effects on an East Asian bird, two subspecies of black-throated tit (A. c. talifuensis-concinnus) with the combined analysis of phylogeography and Ecological Niche Models (ENMs). We sequenced three mitochondrial DNA markers from 32 populations (203 individuals) and used phylogenetic inferences to reconstruct the intra-specific relationships among haplotypes. Population genetic analyses were undertaken to gain insight into the demographic history of these populations. We used ENMs to predict the distribution of target species during three periods; last inter-glacial (LIG), last glacial maximum (LGM) and present. We found three highly supported, monophyletic MtDNA lineages and different historical demography among lineages in A. c. talifuensis-concinnus. These lineages formed a narrowly circumscribed intra-specific contact zone. The estimated times of lineage divergences were about 2.4 Ma and 0.32 Ma respectively. ENMs predictions were similar between present and LGM but substantially reduced during LIG. ENMs reconstructions and molecular dating suggest that Pleistocene climate changes had triggered and shaped the genetic structure of black-throated tit. Interestingly, in contrast to profound impacts of other glacial cycles, ENMs and phylogeographic analysis suggest that LGM had limited effect on these two subspecies. ENMs also suggest that Pleistocene climatic oscillations enabled the formation of the contact zone and thus support the refuge theory.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Taklimakan Desert in China is characterized by unique geological and historical dynamics and endemic flora and fauna, but the influence of historical climate oscillations on the evolutionary history of endemic animals is poorly understood. Lepus yarkandensis is an oases-dependent Near Threatened species that lives in fragmented oasis habitats in the Taklimakan Desert, China. We investigated the geological and climatic impacts on its geographical differentiation, demographic history and influence of Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles on the evolutionary history of L. yarkandensis. Further, studied the impact of climatic oscillation based modification on phylogeography, distribution and diversification pattern of Yarkand hare by using Cytb (1140 bp), MGF (592 bp) and SPTBN1 (619 bp) markers. Ecological niche modeling (ENM) revealed the evolutionary history of this species in response to climate change during the Quaternary. Paleodistribution modeling was used to identify putative refugia and estimate their historical distributions. RESULTS:Both historical demographic analyses and climatic niche modeling revealed strong effects of glacial climate changes, suggesting recurrent range contractions and expansions. The EBSP results indicated clear population expansion of L. yarkandensis since the Pleistocene. In the "early Pleistocene", the demographic expansion continued from 0.83 MYA to the last glacial period. The ENM analysis supported a wide distribution of Lepus yarkandensis at high altitudes during the last interglacial (LIG) period. During the last glacial maximum (LGM), the suitable climate was reduced and restricted to the western part of the Taklimakan Desert. CONCLUSIONS:Inland aridification, oasis evolution and river flow played major roles in the population differentiation and demographic history of Yarkand hares. Historically, the large, continuous oases in the Taklimakan Desert contained a viable and unique population of L. yarkandensis. The fragmented desert environment might have caused low gene flow between individuals or groups, thus leading to predominant genetic differentiation. The Pleistocene climatic cycles triggered the diversification and expansion of this species during cold and warm periods, respectively, leading to multiple colonization events within the Taklimakan Desert. These events might be due to the expansion of the Taklimakan Desert during the Middle Pleistocene. Yarkand hare previously occupied vast areas at low and intermediate altitudes in Xinjiang, Gansu, Shanxi, Henan and Shaanxi Provinces in China. The past aridification, climate change-induced oasis modifications, changes in river volumes and flow directions, and human activities all affected the population demography and phylogeography of the Yarkand hare.
Project description:Invasive species' Pleistocene history contains much information on its present population structure, dispersability and adaptability. In this study, the Pleistocene history of a global invasive pest (Brown Marmorated Stink Bug BMSB, Halyomorpha halys) was unveiled using the coupled approach of phylogeography and ecological niche modelling. Rangewide molecular data suggests that the Taiwan and other native populations had diverged in mid-Pleistocene. In mainland China, the native BMSB did not experience population contraction and divergence during last glacial, but persisted in interconnected populations. Combined Bayesian Skyline Plot (BSP) and niche modelling revealed a rapid expansion occurred during the transition of Last Inter Glacial (LIG) to Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). High genetic diversity and multi-reticular haplotypes network exist in the original sources populations of BMSB invasion in northern China. They were speculated to be colonized from the central China, with many derived haplotypes evolved to adapt the novel environment. The ENM future prediction suggest that BMSB may expand northward to higher latitudes in the US and Europe, because of its high invasive ability, together with the available suitable climate space there.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Mexican hand tree or Canac (Chiranthodendron pentadactylon) is a temperate tree species of cloud and pine-oak forests of southern Mexico and Guatemala. Its characteristic hand-shaped flower is used in folk medicine and has constituted the iconic symbol of the Sociedad Botánica de México since 1940. Here, the evolutionary history of this species was estimated through phylogeographic analyses of nuclear DNA sequences obtained through restriction site associated DNA sequencing and ecological niche modeling. Total genomic DNA was extracted from leaf samples obtained from a representative number (5 to 10 per sampling site) of individuals distributed along the species geographic range. In Mexico, population is comprised by spatially isolated individuals which may follow the trends of cloud forest fragmentation. By contrast, in Guatemala Chiranthodendron may constitute a canopy dominant species near the Acatenango volcano. The distributional range of this species encompasses geographic provinces separated by the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The objectives of the study were to: (i) estimate its genetic structure to define whether the observed range disjunction exerted by the Isthmus of Tehuantepec translates into separate populations, (ii) link population divergence timing and demographic trends to historical climate change, and (iii) test hypotheses related to Pleistocene refugia. RESULTS:Patterns of genetic diversity indicated high levels of genetic differentiation between populations separated by the Isthmus. The western and eastern population diverged approximately 0.873 Million years ago (Ma). Demographic analyses supported a simultaneous split from an ancestral population and rapid expansion from a small stock approximately 0.2?Ma corresponding to a glacial period. The populations have remained stable since the LIG (130 Kilo years ago (Ka)). Species distribution modelling (SDM) predicted a decrease in potential distribution in the Last Interglacial (LIG) and an increase during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) (22 Ka), Mid-Holocene (6 Ka) and present times. CONCLUSIONS:Divergence time estimations support the hypothesis that populations represent Quaternary relict elements of a species with broader and northernmost distribution. Pleistocene climatic shifts exerted major influence on the distribution of populations allowing dispersion during episodes of suitable climatic conditions and structuring during the first interglacial with a time period length of 100 Kilo years (Kyr) and the vicariant influence of the Isthmus. Limited demographic expansion and population connectivity during the LGM supports the moist forest hypothesis model.
Project description:The effects of Pleistocene glaciations and geographical barriers on the phylogeographic patterns of lowland plant species in Mediterranean-climate areas of Central Chile are poorly understood. We used Dioscorea humilis (Dioscoreaceae), a dioecious geophyte extending 530 km from the Valparaíso to the Bío-Bío Regions, as a case study to disentangle the spatio-temporal evolution of populations in conjunction with latitudinal environmental changes since the Last Inter-Glacial (LIG) to the present. We used nuclear microsatellite loci, chloroplast (cpDNA) sequences and environmental niche modelling (ENM) to construct current and past scenarios from bioclimatic and geographical variables and to infer the evolutionary history of the taxa. We found strong genetic differentiation at nuclear microsatellite loci between the two subspecies of D. humilis, probably predating the LIG. Bayesian analyses of population structure revealed strong genetic differentiation of the widespread D. humilis subsp. humilis into northern and southern population groups, separated by the Maipo river. ENM revealed that the ecological niche differentiation of both groups have been maintained up to present times although their respective geographical distributions apparently fluctuated in concert with the climatic oscillations of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the Holocene. Genetic data revealed signatures of eastern and western postglacial expansion of the northern populations from the central Chilean depression, whereas the southern ones experienced a rapid southward expansion after the LGM. This study describes the complex evolutionary histories of lowland Mediterranean Chilean plants mediated by the summed effects of spatial isolation caused by riverine geographical barriers and the climatic changes of the Quaternary.
Project description: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.
Project description:The influence of Quaternary climate oscillations on the diversification of the South American fauna is being increasingly explored. However, most of these studies have focused on taxa that are endemic to tropical environments, and relatively few have treated organisms restricted to subtropical biomes. Here we used an integrative phylogeographical framework to investigate the effects of these climate events on the ecological niche and genetic patterns of the subtropical orb-weaver spider Araneus omnicolor (Araneidae). We analyzed the mitochondrial (Cytochrome Oxidase I, COI) and nuclear (Internal Transcribed Subunit II, ITS2) DNA of 130 individuals throughout the species' range, and generated distribution models in three different climate scenarios [present, Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and Last Interglacial Maximum (LIG)]. Additionally, we used an Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) approach to compare possible demographic scenarios and select the hypothesis that better explains the genetic patterns of A. omnicolor. We obtained high haplotype diversity but low nucleotide variation among sequences. The population structure and demographic analyses showed discrepancies between markers, suggesting male-biased dispersal in the species. The time-calibrated COI phylogenetic inference showed a recent diversification of lineages (Middle/Late Pleistocene), while the paleoclimate modeling indicated niche stability since ~120 Kya. The ABC results agreed with the niche models, supporting a panmictic population as the most likely historical scenario for the species. These results indicate that A. omnicolor experienced no niche or population reductions during the Late Pleistocene, despite the intense landscape modifications that occurred in the subtropical region, and that other factors beside LGM and LIG climate oscillations might have contributed to the demographic history of this species. This pattern may be related to the high dispersal ability and wide environmental tolerance of A. omnicolor, highlighting the need for more phylogeographical studies with invertebrates and other generalist taxa, in order to understand the effects of Quaternary climate changes on Neotropical biodiversity.
Project description:The forest refuge hypothesis (FRH) has long been a paradigm for explaining the extreme biological diversity of tropical forests. According to this hypothesis, forest retraction and fragmentation during glacial periods would have promoted reproductive isolation and consequently speciation in forest patches (ecological refuges) surrounded by open habitats. The recent use of paleoclimatic models of species and habitat distributions revitalized the FRH, not by considering refuges as the main drivers of allopatric speciation, but instead by suggesting that high contemporary diversity is associated with historically stable forest areas. However, the role of the emerged continental shelf on the Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot of eastern South America during glacial periods has been ignored in the literature. Here, we combined results of species distribution models with coalescent simulations based on DNA sequences to explore the congruence between scenarios of forest dynamics through time and the genetic structure of mammal species cooccurring in the central region of the Atlantic Forest. Contrary to the FRH predictions, we found more fragmentation of suitable habitats during the last interglacial (LIG) and the present than in the last glacial maximum (LGM), probably due to topography. We also detected expansion of suitable climatic conditions onto the emerged continental shelf during the LGM, which would have allowed forests and forest-adapted species to expand. The interplay of sea level and land distribution must have been crucial in the biogeographic history of the Atlantic Forest, and forest refuges played only a minor role, if any, in this biodiversity hotspot during glacial periods.