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Molecular phylogeography of Dryas integrifolia: glacial refugia and postglacial recolonization

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Abstract

Chloroplast DNA variation in the Arctic plant species Dryas integrifolia (Rosaceae) was analysed in relation to both the present-day geographical distribution of populations and to Pleistocene fossil records of this species. The phylogeographical structure was weak but the analysis of haplotype diversity revealed several groups of haplotypes having present-day geographical ranges that overlap locations postulated from geographical and fossil evidence to have been glacial refugia. Based on this information we infer that two important refugial sources of Arctic recolonization by this species were Beringia and the High Arctic. Two other putative refugia, located southeast of the ice sheet and along coastal regions of the eastern Arctic may have served as sources for recolonization of smaller portions of the Arctic. The genetic substructure in the species is mostly due to variation among populations regardless of the ecogeographical region in which they are found. Spatial autocorrelation at the regional scale was also detected. High levels of diversity both within populations and ecogeographical regions are probably indicative of population establishment from several sources possibly combined with recent gene flow.

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