Colonization routes, microevolutionary genetic structure and conservation concerns in a remote widespread insular endemic grass: the case of the Azorean tussock grass Deschampsia foliosa

BOTANICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY(2019)

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摘要
Population genetic structure and diversity and phylogeographical dispersal routes were assessed for the Azorean endemic grass Deschampsia foliosa using AFLP markers. This species occurs on seven islands in the archipelago and a sampling of populations from the three main geographical groups of islands was used, covering its known distribution. Principal coordinates analyses (PCoAs), Bayesian analyses and phylogenetic networks revealed different degrees of admixture for the central group (C) populations and a clear differentiation for the western group (W) and Sao Miguel island (in the eastern group, E) populations. The best K values corresponded to nine and 11 genetic groups, which were also confirmed by analysis of molecular variance. A low but significant correlation between genetic data and geography was observed, with most relevant barriers to gene flow generally placed between sub-archipelagos. We suggest a west-to-east isolation by distance dispersal model across an island age continuum with Flores-Corvo (W) and Pico (C) at the extremes of the dispersal path. An alternative scenario, also supported by the genetic data, implies an initial colonization of Sao Jorge (C), dispersal within C and following bidirectional dispersal to the W and E. The phylogeographical framework detected might be related to island age and to highly destructive volcanic events, and it supports the occurrence of cryptic diversity within D. foliosa. Genetic diversity estimators were highest for Pico island populations (C), lowest for Sao Miguel (E) and Flores (W) populations, and more divergent for the Corvo population (W). Conservation measures should be taken to preserve the genetic structure found across sub-archipelagos and islands.
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关键词
Azores,conservation genetics,microevolution,phylogeography
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