Sympatric parallel diversification of major oak clades in the Americas and the origins of Mexican species diversity.
Oaks (Quercus, Fagaceae) are the dominant tree genus of North America in species number and biomass, and Mexico is a global center of oak diversity. Understanding the origins of oak diversity is key to understanding biodiversity of northern temperate forests. A phylogenetic study of biogeography, niche evolution and diversification patterns in Quercus was performed using 300 samples, 146 species. Next-generation sequencing data were generated using the restriction-site associated DNA (RAD-seq) method. A time-calibrated maximum likelihood phylogeny was inferred and analyzed with bioclimatic, soils, and leaf habit data to reconstruct the biogeographic and evolutionary history of the American oaks. Our highly resolved phylogeny demonstrates sympatric parallel diversification in climatic niche, leaf habit, and diversification rates. The two major American oak clades arose in what is now the boreal zone and radiated, in parallel, from eastern North America into Mexico and Central America. Oaks adapted rapidly to niche transitions. The Mexican oaks are particularly numerous, not because Mexico is a center of origin, but because of high rates of lineage diversification associated with high rates of evolution along moisture gradients and between the evergreen and deciduous leaf habits. Sympatric parallel diversification in the oaks has shaped the diversity of North American forests.
Hipp, AL; Manos, PS; González-Rodríguez, A; Hahn, M; Kaproth, M; McVay, JD; Avalos, SV; Cavender-Bares, J
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