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Data from: Phylogeography and paleodistribution models of a widespread birch (Betula platyphylla Suk.) across East Asia: multiple refugia, multidirectional expansion, and heterogeneous genetic pattern

Citation

Chen, Tian-yi; Lou, Anru (2019), Data from: Phylogeography and paleodistribution models of a widespread birch (Betula platyphylla Suk.) across East Asia: multiple refugia, multidirectional expansion, and heterogeneous genetic pattern, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.27jp751

Abstract

Widespread tree species cover large geographical areas and play important roles in various vegetation types. Understanding how these species responded to historical climatic changes is important for understanding community assembly mechanisms with evolutionary and conservation implications. However, the location of refugial areas and postglacial history of widespread trees in East Asia remain poorly known. We combined microsatellite data (63 populations, 1756 individuals) and ecological niche modeling to examine the range-wide population diversity, genetic structure and historical demography of a pioneer tree species, Asian white birch (Betula platyphylla Suk.) across East Asia. We found a north to south trend of declining genetic diversity and five clusters, corresponding to geographic regions. Different clusters were inferred to have diverged through Pleistocene climatic oscillations and have different expansion routes, leading to genetic admixture in some populations. Ecological niche models indicated that the distribution of Betula platyphylla during the Last Glacial Maximum still had a large latitude span with slight shifts towards southeast, and northern populations had more variable distribution ranges than those in the south during later climatic oscillations. Our results reflect the relatively stable distribution through the last glacial-interglacial cycles and recent multidirectional expansion of Betula platyphylla, providing new hypotheses for the response pattern of widespread tree species to climate change. The gradual genetic pattern from northeast to southwest and alternative distribution dynamics possibly resulted from environmental differences caused by latitude and topographic heterogeneity.

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