Annals of Botany

Origin of distribution and genetic diversity of a savanna species

Cyclic glaciations were frequent throughout the Quaternary and this affected species distribution and population differentiation worldwide.

Schematic representation the demographic history scenarios simulated for the 23 populations of Eugenia dysenterica sampled in the Cerrado biome, and their geographical representation as predicted by ecological niche models (ENMs
Schematic representation the demographic history scenarios simulated for the 23 populations of Eugenia dysenterica sampled in the Cerrado biome, and their geographical representation as predicted by ecological niche models (ENMs). Circles represent hypothetical demes and indicate population stability or shrinkage through time. LGM, Last Glacial Maximum; Pres, present-day; N0, effective population size at time t0 (present); N1, effective population size at time t1400 (1400 generations ago); Nt, logarithmic function for effective population size variation in coalescent simulation. The migration rate was 0·01 per generation.

Combining ecological niche modelling and phylogeographical analysis, this study by Lima et al. suggests that the distribution of Eugenia dysenterica (Myrtaceae) radiated outwards from the central region of the Cerrado biome, and that its genetic diversity pattern is due to climatic oscillations that occurred during the Quaternary. These findings are important for understanding the historical processes that leads to the current distribution of species.

Reference

Lima, J. S., Telles, M. P. C., Chaves, L. J., Lima-Ribeiro, M. S., & Collevatti, R. G. (2017). Demographic stability and high historical connectivity explain the diversity of a savanna tree species in the Quaternary. Annals of Botany, mcw257. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcw257

About the author

Alun Salt

When he's not the web developer for AoB Blog, Alun Salt researches something that could be mistaken for the archaeology of science. His current research is about whether there's such a thing as scientific heritage and if there is how would you recognise it?

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