Data from: Diversification in continental island archipelagos: new evidence on the roles of fragmentation, colonization and gene flow on the genetic divergence of Aegean Nigella (Ranunculaceae)
Jaros, Ursula; Tribsch, Andreas; Comes, Hans Peter (2018), Data from: Diversification in continental island archipelagos: new evidence on the roles of fragmentation, colonization and gene flow on the genetic divergence of Aegean Nigella (Ranunculaceae), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.961t3
Background and Aims: Disentangling the relative roles of past fragmentation (vicariance), colonization (dispersal) and post-divergence gene flow in the genetic divergence of continental island organisms remains a formidable challenge. Amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) were used to (1) gain further insights into the biogeographical processes underlying the Pleistocene diversification of the Aegean Nigella arvensis complex; (2) evaluate the role of potential key factors driving patterns of population genetic variability (mating system, geographical isolation and historical contingencies); and (3) test the robustness of conclusions previously drawn from chloroplast (cp) DNA.
Methods: Genetic diversity was analysed for 235 AFLP markers from 48 populations (497 individuals) representing 11 taxa of the complex using population genetic methods and Bayesian assignment tests.
Key Results: Most designated taxa are identifiable as genetically distinct units. Both fragmentation and dispersal-driven diversification processes occurred at different geological time scales, from Early to Late Pleistocene, specifically (1) sea barrier-induced vicariant speciation in the Cyclades, the Western Cretan Strait and Ikaria; and (2) bi-regional colonizations of the ‘Southern Aegean Island Arc’ from the Western vs. Eastern Aegean mainland, followed by allopatric divergences in Crete vs. Rhodos and Karpathos/Kasos. Outcrossing island taxa experienced drift-related demographic processes that are magnified in the two insular selfing species. Population genetic differentiation on the mainland seems largely driven by dispersal limitation, while in the Central Aegean it may still be influenced by historical events (island fragmentation and sporadic long-distance colonization).
Conclusions: The biogeographical history of Aegean Nigella is more complex than expected for a strictly allopatric vicariant model of divergence. Nonetheless, the major phylogeographical boundaries of this radiation are largely congruent with the geography and history of islands, with little evidence for ongoing gene exchange between divergent taxa. The present results emphasize the need to investigate further biological and landscape features and contemporary vs. historical processes in driving population divergence and taxon diversification in Aegean plant radiations.