Intercontinental genetic structure in the amphi-Pacific peatmoss Sphagnum miyabeanum (Bryophyta: Sphagnaceae)

Journal Article

Unlike seed plants where global biogeographical patterns typically involve interspecific phylogenetic history, spore-producing bryophyte species often have intercontinental distributions that are best understood from a population genetic perspective. We sought to understand how reproductive processes, especially dispersal, have contributed to the intercontinental 'Pacific Rim' distribution of Sphagnum miyabeanum. In total, 295 gametophyte plants from western North America (California, Oregon, British Columbia, Alaska), Russia, Japan, and China were genotyped at 12 microsatellite loci. Nucleotide se quences were obtained for seven anonymous nuclear loci plus two plastid regions from 21 plants of S.miyabeanum and two outgroup species. We detected weak but significant genetic differentiation among plants from China, Japan, Alaska, British Columbia, and the western USA. Alaskan plants are genetically most similar to Asian plants, and British Columbian plants are most similar to those in the western USA. There is detectable migration between regions, with especially high levels between Alaska and Asia (China and Japan). Migration appears to be recent and/or ongoing, and more or less equivalent in both directions. There is weak (but significant) isolation-by-distance within geographical regions, and the slope of the regression of genetic on geographical distance differs for Asian versus North American plants. A distinctive Vancouver Island morphotype is very weakly differentiated, and does not appear to be reproductively isolated from plants of the normal morphotype. The intercontinental geographical range of S.miyabeanum reflects recent and probably ongoing migration, facilitated by the production of tiny spores capable of effective long distance dispersal. The results of the present study are consistent with Pleistocene survival of S.miyabeanum in unglaciated Beringia, although we cannot eliminate the possibility that the species recolonized Alaska from Asia more recently. © 2013 The Linnean Society of London.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shaw, AJ; Golinski, GK; Clark, EG; Shaw, B; Stenøien, HK; Flatberg, KI

Published Date

  • January 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 111 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 17 - 37

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-8312

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0024-4066

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/bij.12200

Citation Source

  • Scopus