The major Australian cool temperate rainforest tree Nothofagus cunninghamii withstood Pleistocene glacial aridity within multiple regions: evidence from the chloroplast
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Worth, JRP and Jordan, GJ and McKinnon, GE and Vaillancourt, RE, The major Australian cool temperate rainforest tree Nothofagus cunninghamii withstood Pleistocene glacial aridity within multiple regions: evidence from the chloroplast, New Phytologist, 182, (2) pp. 519-532. ISSN 0028-646X (2009) [Refereed Article]
Glacial aridity of the Pleistocene was inhospitable for the cool temperate rainforest tree Nothofagus cunninghamii over most of its current range in southeastern Australia, particularly in eastern Tasmania. A chloroplast DNA phylogeographic study was undertaken to investigate whether this species was likely to have survived in situ or conforms to a dispersal model of postglacial recovery. Twenty-three chloroplast haplotypes were identified by PCR-RFLP and direct sequencing of 2164 base pairs from 213 N. cunninghamii individuals collected in a range-wide survey. Fine-scale haplotype distribution was investigated using PCR-RFLP in eastern Tasmania. Deep chloroplast divergence occurred in N. cunninghamii. The single haplotype of the sister species, N. moorei, was nested among N. cunninghamii haplotypes. The distribution of N. cunninghamii haplotypes supports: multiple glacial refugia in coastal and inland western Tasmania, the centre of haplotype diversity; glacial survival in the central highlands of Victoria, corroborating pollen data; and the long-term occupation of eastern Tasmania because of the presence of a unique deeply diverged chloroplast lineage. Nothofagus cunninghamii withstood glacial aridity within multiple regions in apparently nonequable climates. This finding contributes to a growing understanding of how the resilience of temperate species during glacial periods has shaped modern biota. © 2009 New Phytologist.
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