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Data from: Contrasting patterns of population history and seed-mediated gene flow in two endemic Costa Rican oak species


Rodríguez-Correa, Hernando et al. (2018), Data from: Contrasting patterns of population history and seed-mediated gene flow in two endemic Costa Rican oak species, Dryad, Dataset,


Lower Central America is an important area to study recent population history and diversification of Neotropical species due to its complex and dynamic geology and climate. Phylogeographic studies in this region are few in comparison with other regions and even less for tree species. The aim of the present study was to characterize the phylogeographic structure in two partially co-distributed endemic oak species (Quercus costaricensis and Q. bumelioides) of the Costa Rican mountains using chloroplast short sequence repeats (cpSSRs), and to test for the effect of geological and palaeoclimatic processes on their population history. Genetic diversity and structure, haplotype networks, patterns of seed-mediated gene flow and historical demography were estimated for both species. Results suggested contrasting patterns. Quercus costaricensis exhibited high values of genetic diversity, a marked phylogeographic structure, a north-to-south genetic diversity gradient and evidence of a demographic expansion during the Quaternary. Quercus bumelioides did not show significant genetic structure and the haplotype network and historical demography estimates suggested a recent population expansion probably during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Phylogeographic structure of Q. costaricensis seems to be related to Pleistocene altitudinal migration due to its higher altitudinal distribution. Meanwhile, historical seed-mediated gene flow through the lower altitudinal distribution of Q. bumelioides may have promoted the homogenization of genetic variation. Population expansion and stable availability of suitable climatic areas in both species probably indicate that palaeoclimatic changes promoted downwards altitudinal migration and formation of continuous forests allowing oak species to expand their distribution into the Panamanian mountains during glacial stages.

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Costa Rica