Data from: Demography and speciation history of the homoploid hybrid pine Pinus densata on the Tibetan Plateau
Gao, Jie et al. (2012), Data from: Demography and speciation history of the homoploid hybrid pine Pinus densata on the Tibetan Plateau, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.566n8
Pinus densata is an ecologically successful homoploid hybrid that inhabits vast areas of heterogeneous terrain on the southeastern Tibetan Plateau as a result of multiple waves of colonization. Its region of origin, route of colonization onto the plateau and the directions of introgression with its parental species have previously been defined, but little is known about the isolation and divergence history of its populations. In this study, we surveyed nucleotide polymorphism over eight nuclear loci in 19 representative populations of P. densata and its parental species. Using this information and coalescence simulations, we assessed the historical changes in its population size, gene flow, and divergence in time and space. The results indicate a late Miocene origin for P. densata associated with the recent uplift of southeastern Tibet. The subsequent differentiation between geographical regions of this species began in the late Pliocene and was induced by regional topographic changes and Pleistocene glaciations. The ancestral P. densata population had a large effective population size but the central and western populations were established by limited founders, suggesting that there were severe bottlenecks during the westward migration out of the ancestral hybrid zone. After separating from their ancestral populations, population expansion occurred in all geographic regions especially in the western range. Gene flow in P. densata was restricted to geographically neighboring populations, resulting in significant differentiation between regional groups. The new information on the divergence and demographic history of P. densata reported herein enhances our understanding of its speciation process on the Tibetan Plateau.