Data from: The population demography of Betula maximowicziana, a cool temperate tree species in Japan, in relation to the last glacial period: Its admixture-like genetic structure is the result of simple population splitting not admixing
Tsuda, Yoshiaki T. et al. (2015), Data from: The population demography of Betula maximowicziana, a cool temperate tree species in Japan, in relation to the last glacial period: Its admixture-like genetic structure is the result of simple population splitting not admixing, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.dj17c
Conservation of the local genetic variation and evolutionary integrity of economically and ecologically important trees is a key aspect of studies involving forest genetics, and a population demographic history of the target species provides valuable information for this purpose. Here, the genetic structure of 48 populations of Betula maximowicziana was assessed using 12 expressed sequence tag–simple sequence repeat (EST-SSR) markers. Genetic diversity was lower in northern populations than southern ones and structure analysis revealed three groups: northern and southern clusters and an admixed group. Eleven more genomic-SSR loci were added and the demographic history of these three groups was inferred by approximate Bayesian computation (ABC). The ABC revealed that a simple split scenario was much more likely than isolation with admixture, suggesting that the admixture-like structure detected in this species was due to ancestral polymorphisms. The ABC analysis suggested that the population growth and divergence of the three groups occurred 96 800 (95% CI, 20 500–599 000) and 28 300 (95% CI, 8700–98 400) years ago, respectively. We need to be aware of several sources of uncertainty in the inference such as assumptions about the generation time, overlapping of generations, confidence intervals of the estimated parameters and the assumed model in the ABC. However, the results of the ABC together with the model-based maps of reconstructed past species distribution and palaeoecological data suggested that the modern genetic structure of B. maximowicziana originated prior to the last glacial maximum (LGM) and that some populations survived in the northern range even during the LGM.