Comparative analysis indicates historical persistence and contrasting contemporary structure in sympatric woody perennials of semi-arid South-West Western Australia

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    Abstract

    We used a comparative approach to assess congruence of phylogeographic and genetic structure and diversity, demographic signals, and ratios of pollen to seed dispersal, in the context of species-specific life-history traits, for two widespread sympatric perennial plant species. We sampled Grevillea paradoxa and Melaleuca nematophylla across the species’ ranges throughout the Transitional Rainfall Zone and extending slightly into the Arid Zone of southwest Western Australia. Both species exhibited range-wide phylogeographic and contemporary genetic structure. Moderate haplotype diversity centred in populations on Banded Ironstone Formation (BIF) outcrops and within the Murchison River gorge supports a hypothesis of historical persistence and evolution in these mesic refugia. These features are likely to play important roles in evolutionary persistence with ongoing climate change. There was little evidence of particularly complex demographic histories for the region. More limited haplotype diversity, as well as more limited nuclear genetic diversity and connectivity, in G. paradoxa was consistent with predictions from life-history traits of shorter lifespan, lower fecundity, more limited seed dispersal, and shorter plants, but inconsistent with a prediction of greater pollen dispersal by bird pollinators. Low pollen to seed dispersal ratios suggest seed dispersal plays a greater than expected role in maintaining connectivity in this semi-arid landscape. The study highlights a need for research that integrates aspects of seed ecology and seed and pollen dispersal as well as phylogeographic and genetic patterns in Gondwanan shrublands and other semi-arid landscapes globally.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)771-787
    Number of pages17
    JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
    Volume120
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

    Fingerprint

    seed dispersal
    Western Australia
    pollen
    persistence
    pollen flow
    life history trait
    genetic structure
    connectivity
    haplotypes
    seed
    ironstone
    demographic history
    demographic statistics
    perennial plant
    life history
    Grevillea
    Melaleuca
    shrubland
    refugium
    prediction

    Cite this

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    title = "Comparative analysis indicates historical persistence and contrasting contemporary structure in sympatric woody perennials of semi-arid South-West Western Australia",
    abstract = "We used a comparative approach to assess congruence of phylogeographic and genetic structure and diversity, demographic signals, and ratios of pollen to seed dispersal, in the context of species-specific life-history traits, for two widespread sympatric perennial plant species. We sampled Grevillea paradoxa and Melaleuca nematophylla across the species’ ranges throughout the Transitional Rainfall Zone and extending slightly into the Arid Zone of southwest Western Australia. Both species exhibited range-wide phylogeographic and contemporary genetic structure. Moderate haplotype diversity centred in populations on Banded Ironstone Formation (BIF) outcrops and within the Murchison River gorge supports a hypothesis of historical persistence and evolution in these mesic refugia. These features are likely to play important roles in evolutionary persistence with ongoing climate change. There was little evidence of particularly complex demographic histories for the region. More limited haplotype diversity, as well as more limited nuclear genetic diversity and connectivity, in G. paradoxa was consistent with predictions from life-history traits of shorter lifespan, lower fecundity, more limited seed dispersal, and shorter plants, but inconsistent with a prediction of greater pollen dispersal by bird pollinators. Low pollen to seed dispersal ratios suggest seed dispersal plays a greater than expected role in maintaining connectivity in this semi-arid landscape. The study highlights a need for research that integrates aspects of seed ecology and seed and pollen dispersal as well as phylogeographic and genetic patterns in Gondwanan shrublands and other semi-arid landscapes globally.",
    keywords = "Biodiversity hotspot, Comparative phylogeography, Demography, Dispersal, Gene flow, Grevillea paradoxa, Life-history traits, Melaleuca nematophylla, Myrtaceae, Proteaceae",
    author = "Millar, {Melissa A.} and Margaret Byrne and Coates, {David J.} and {Dale Roberts}, J.",
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    T1 - Comparative analysis indicates historical persistence and contrasting contemporary structure in sympatric woody perennials of semi-arid South-West Western Australia

    AU - Millar, Melissa A.

    AU - Byrne, Margaret

    AU - Coates, David J.

    AU - Dale Roberts, J.

    PY - 2017/4/1

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    N2 - We used a comparative approach to assess congruence of phylogeographic and genetic structure and diversity, demographic signals, and ratios of pollen to seed dispersal, in the context of species-specific life-history traits, for two widespread sympatric perennial plant species. We sampled Grevillea paradoxa and Melaleuca nematophylla across the species’ ranges throughout the Transitional Rainfall Zone and extending slightly into the Arid Zone of southwest Western Australia. Both species exhibited range-wide phylogeographic and contemporary genetic structure. Moderate haplotype diversity centred in populations on Banded Ironstone Formation (BIF) outcrops and within the Murchison River gorge supports a hypothesis of historical persistence and evolution in these mesic refugia. These features are likely to play important roles in evolutionary persistence with ongoing climate change. There was little evidence of particularly complex demographic histories for the region. More limited haplotype diversity, as well as more limited nuclear genetic diversity and connectivity, in G. paradoxa was consistent with predictions from life-history traits of shorter lifespan, lower fecundity, more limited seed dispersal, and shorter plants, but inconsistent with a prediction of greater pollen dispersal by bird pollinators. Low pollen to seed dispersal ratios suggest seed dispersal plays a greater than expected role in maintaining connectivity in this semi-arid landscape. The study highlights a need for research that integrates aspects of seed ecology and seed and pollen dispersal as well as phylogeographic and genetic patterns in Gondwanan shrublands and other semi-arid landscapes globally.

    AB - We used a comparative approach to assess congruence of phylogeographic and genetic structure and diversity, demographic signals, and ratios of pollen to seed dispersal, in the context of species-specific life-history traits, for two widespread sympatric perennial plant species. We sampled Grevillea paradoxa and Melaleuca nematophylla across the species’ ranges throughout the Transitional Rainfall Zone and extending slightly into the Arid Zone of southwest Western Australia. Both species exhibited range-wide phylogeographic and contemporary genetic structure. Moderate haplotype diversity centred in populations on Banded Ironstone Formation (BIF) outcrops and within the Murchison River gorge supports a hypothesis of historical persistence and evolution in these mesic refugia. These features are likely to play important roles in evolutionary persistence with ongoing climate change. There was little evidence of particularly complex demographic histories for the region. More limited haplotype diversity, as well as more limited nuclear genetic diversity and connectivity, in G. paradoxa was consistent with predictions from life-history traits of shorter lifespan, lower fecundity, more limited seed dispersal, and shorter plants, but inconsistent with a prediction of greater pollen dispersal by bird pollinators. Low pollen to seed dispersal ratios suggest seed dispersal plays a greater than expected role in maintaining connectivity in this semi-arid landscape. The study highlights a need for research that integrates aspects of seed ecology and seed and pollen dispersal as well as phylogeographic and genetic patterns in Gondwanan shrublands and other semi-arid landscapes globally.

    KW - Biodiversity hotspot

    KW - Comparative phylogeography

    KW - Demography

    KW - Dispersal

    KW - Gene flow

    KW - Grevillea paradoxa

    KW - Life-history traits

    KW - Melaleuca nematophylla

    KW - Myrtaceae

    KW - Proteaceae

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    U2 - 10.1093/biolinnean/blw005

    DO - 10.1093/biolinnean/blw005

    M3 - Article

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    JO - Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society

    JF - Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society

    SN - 0024-4066

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