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Data from: Colonization of the Tibetan Plateau by the homoploid hybrid pine Pinus densata


Wang, Baosheng et al. (2011), Data from: Colonization of the Tibetan Plateau by the homoploid hybrid pine Pinus densata, Dryad, Dataset,


Pinus densata is an intriguingly successful homoploid hybrid species that occupies vast areas of the southeastern Tibetan Plateau in which neither of its parental species are present, but the colonization processes involved are poorly understood. To shed light on how this species colonized and became established on the plateau, we surveyed paternally inherited chloroplast (cp) and maternally inherited mitochondrial (mt) DNA variation within and among 54 populations of P. densata and its putative parental species throughout their respective ranges. Strong spatial genetic structure of both cp and mtDNA were detected in P. densata populations. Mitotypes specific to P. densata were likely generated by complex recombination events. A putative ancestral hybrid zone in the northeastern periphery of P. densata was identified, and we propose that the species then colonized the plateau by migrating westwards. Along the colonization route, consecutive bottlenecks and surfing of rare alleles caused a significant reduction of genetic diversity and strong population differentiation. The direction and intensity of introgression from parental species varied among geographic regions. In western parts of its range the species seems to have been isolated from seed and pollen flow from its parent species for a long time. The observed spatial distribution of genetic diversity in P. densata also appears to reflect the persistence of this species on the plateau during the last glaciation. Our results indicate that both ancient and contemporary population dynamics have contributed to the spatial distribution of genetic diversity in P. densata, which accordingly reflects its evolutionary history.

Usage Notes


Tibetan Plateau
northern and central China
south-western China