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Glacial refugia and reticulate evolution: the case of the Tasmanian eucalypts


McKinnon, GE and Jordan, GJ and Vaillancourt, RE and Steane, DA and Potts, BM, Glacial refugia and reticulate evolution: the case of the Tasmanian eucalypts, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, 359, (1442) pp. 275-284. ISSN 0962-8436 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1098/rstb.2003.1391


Tasmania is a natural laboratory for investigating the evolutionary processes of the Quaternary. It is a large island lying 40-44° S, which was repeatedly glaciated and linked to southeastern continental Australia during the Quaternary. Climate change promoted both the isolation of species in glacial refugia, and an exchange between Tasmanian and mainland floras. Eucalyptus is a complex and diverse genus, which has increased in abundance in Australia over the past 100 kyr, probably in response to higher fire frequency. Morphological evidence suggests that gene flow may have occurred between many eucalypt species after changes in their distribution during the Quaternary. This paper summarizes recent genetic evidence for migration and introgressive hybridization in Tasmanian Eucalyptus. Maternally inherited chloroplast DNA reveals a long-term persistence of eucalypts in southeastern Tasmanian refugia, coupled with introgressive hybridization involving many species. Detailed analysis of the widespread species Eucalyptus globulus suggests that migration from mainland Australia was followed by introgression involving a rare Tasmanian endemic. The data support the hypothesis that changes in distribution of interfertile species during the Quaternary have promoted reticulate evolution in Eucalyptus.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Genetics
Research Field:Molecular evolution
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Forestry
Objective Field:Native forests
UTAS Author:McKinnon, GE (Dr Gay McKinnon)
UTAS Author:Jordan, GJ (Professor Greg Jordan)
UTAS Author:Vaillancourt, RE (Professor Rene Vaillancourt)
UTAS Author:Steane, DA (Dr Dorothy Steane)
UTAS Author:Potts, BM (Professor Brad Potts)
ID Code:30606
Year Published:2004
Web of Science® Times Cited:110
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2004-08-01
Last Modified:2007-10-11

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