Molecular phylogeography and ecological niche modelling of a widespread herbaceous climber, Tetrastigma hemsleyanum (Vitaceae): Insights into Plio-Pleistocene range dynamics of evergreen forest in subtropical China

Yi Han Wang, Wei Mei Jiang, Hans Peter Comes, Feng Sheng Hu, Ying Xiong Qiu, Cheng Xin Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Summary: Warm-temperate evergreen (WTE) forest represents the typical vegetation type of subtropical China, but how its component species responded to past environmental change remains largely unknown. Here, we reconstruct the evolutionary history of Tetrastigma hemsleyanum, an herbaceous climber restricted to the WTE forest. Twenty populations were genotyped using chloroplast DNA sequences and nuclear microsatellite loci to assess population structure and diversity, supplemented by phylogenetic dating, ancestral area reconstructions and ecological niche modeling (ENM) of the species distributions during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and at present. Lineages in Southwest vs Central-South-East China diverged through climate/tectonic-induced vicariance of an ancestral southern range during the early Pliocene. Long-term stability in the Southwest contrasts with latitudinal range shifts in the Central-South-East region during the early-to-mid-Pleistocene. Genetic and ENM data strongly suggest refugial persistence in situ at the LGM. Pre-Quaternary environmental changes appear to have had a persistent influence on the population genetic structure of this subtropical WTE forest species. Our findings suggest relative demographic stability of this biome in China over the last glacial-interglacial cycle, in contrast with palaeobiome reconstructions showing that this forest biome retreated to areas of today's tropical South China during the LGM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)852-867
Number of pages16
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume206
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

Keywords

  • Ancestral area reconstruction
  • Ecological niche modelling (ENM)
  • Phylogenetic analyses
  • Phylogeographical inference
  • Tetrastigma hemsleyanum
  • Warm-temperate evergreen (WTE) forest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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