Data from: Phylogeography of the Neotropical epiphytic orchid, Brassavola nodosa: evidence for a secondary contact zone in northwestern Costa Rica
Trapnell, Dorset et al. (2021), Data from: Phylogeography of the Neotropical epiphytic orchid, Brassavola nodosa: evidence for a secondary contact zone in northwestern Costa Rica, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.hc218qk
Spatial patterns of genetic variation can reveal otherwise cryptic evolutionary and landscape processes. In northwestern Costa Rica, an approximately concordant genetic discontinuity occurs among populations of several plant species. We conducted phylogeographic analyses of an epiphytic orchid, Brassavola nodosa, to test for genetic discontinuity and to explore its underlying causes. We genotyped 18 populations with 19 nuclear loci and two non-coding chloroplast sequence regions. We estimated genetic diversity and structure, relative importance of pollen and seed dispersal, and divergence time to understand how genetic diversity was spatially partitioned. Nuclear genetic diversity was high with little differentiation among populations (GSTn = 0.065). In contrast, chloroplast haplotypes were highly structured (GSTc = 0.570) and reveal a discontinuity between northwestern and southeastern populations within Costa Rica. Haplotype differences suggest two formerly isolated lineages that diverged approximately 10,000-100,000 YBP. Haplotype mixing and greater genetic diversity occur in an intermediate transition zone. Patterns of nuclear and chloroplast data were consistent. Different levels of genetic differentiation for the two genomes reflect the relative effectiveness of biotic versus abiotic dispersers of pollen and seeds. Isolation of the two lineages likely resulted from the complex environmental and geophysical history of the region. Our results suggest a recent cryptic seed dispersal barrier and/or zone of secondary contact. We hypothesize that powerful northeasterly trade winds hinder movement of wind-borne seeds between the two regions, while the multi-directional dispersal of pollen by strong-flying sphinx moths resulted in lower differentiation of nuclear loci.