Congruence between ocean-dispersal modelling and phylogeography explains recent evolutionary history of Cycas species with buoyant seeds

Jian Liu, Anders J. Lindstrom, Yong Sheng Chen, Ran Nathan, Xun Gong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ocean currents play a significant role in driving the long-distance dispersal (LDD), spatial distribution and phylogeographic patterns of many organisms. Integrating phylogeographic analyses and mechanistic ocean current modelling can provide novel insights into the evolutionary history of terrestrial littoral species but has been rarely applied in this context. We focused on a group of Cycas that have buoyant seeds and occupy coastal habitats. By integrating evidence from mechanistic simulations and whole plastomic data, we examined the role of ocean circulation in shaping the phylogeography of these Cycas species. Plastomes of the studied Cycas species showed extreme conservatism, following a post-Pleistocene divergence. Phylogenies revealed three subclades, corresponding to the Pacific Ocean, Sunda Shelf and Indian Ocean. The ocean modelling results indicate that hotspots of seed stranding coincide well with the contemporary distribution of the Cycas species and that drifting trajectories from the three subclades are largely confined to separate regions. These findings suggest that ocean current systems, by driving long-distance dispersal, have shaped the distribution and phylogeography for Cycas with buoyant seeds. This study highlights how the combination of genomic data and ocean drift modelling can help explain phylogeographic patterns and diversity in terrestrial littoral ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1863-1875
Number of pages13
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume232
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Buoyancy
  • cycads
  • long-distance dispersal
  • ocean drift modelling
  • phylogenomics
  • phylogeography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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