J Syst Evol ›› 2016, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (1): 65-74.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12162

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Phylogeographic insights of the lowland species Cheirolophus sempervirens in the southwestern Iberian Peninsula

Daniel Vitales1,2*, Alfredo García-Fernández2,3, Teresa Garnatje2, Jaume Pellicer4, and Joan Vallès1   

  1. 1Laboratori de Botànica – Unitat associada CSIC, Facultat de Farmàcia, Universitat de Barcelona, Avinguda Joan XXIII s/n, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
    2Institut Botànic de Barcelona (IBB-CSIC-ICUB), Passeig del Migdia s/n, Parc de Montjuïc, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
    3Área de Biodiversidad y Conservación, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Calle Tulipán s/n, Móstoles, Madrid, Spain
    4Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, United Kingdom
  • Received:2015-01-29 Published:2016-01-14

Abstract: The southwestern Iberian Peninsula is an important biogeographic region, showing high biodiversity levels and hosting several putative glacial refugia for European flora. Here, we study the genetic diversity and structure of the Mediterranean, thermophilous plant Cheirolophus sempervirens (Asteraceae) across its whole distribution range in SW Iberia, as a tool to disentangle some of the general biogeographic patterns shaping this southern refugia hotspot. Null genetic diversity was observed in the cpDNA sequencing screening. Nonetheless, AFLP data revealed high levels of among-population genetic differentiation correlated to their geographic location. Our results suggest longer species persistence in southern Iberian refugia during glacial periods and subsequent founder effects northwards due to colonizations in warmer stages (i.e., the southern richness to northern purity pattern). Additionally, our phylogeographic analyses indicate the presence of two separate genetic lineages within Ch. sempervirens, supporting the hypothesis of multiple minor refugia for SW Iberia in agreement with the refugia within refugia model.

Key words: AFLP, genetic diversity, genetic structure, glacial refugia, Mediterranean, Pleistocene climatic oscillations, southern Europe