Frequent circumarctic and rare transequatorial dispersals in the lichenised agaric genus Lichenomphalia (Hygrophoraceae, Basidiomycota).
Species of the genus Lichenomphalia are mostly restricted to arctic-alpine environments with the exception of Lichenomphalia umbellifera which is also common in northern forests. Although Lichenomphalia species inhabit vast regions in several continents, no information is available on their genetic variation across geographic regions and the underlying population-phylogenetic patterns. We collected samples from arctic and subarctic regions, as well as from newly discovered subantarctic localities for the genus. Phylogenetic, nonparametric permutation methods, and coalescent analyses were used to assess phylogeny and population divergence and to estimate the extent and direction of gene flow among distinct geographic populations. All known species formed monophyletic groups, supporting their morphology-based delimitation. In addition, we found two subantarctic phylogenetic species (Lichenomphalia sp. and Lichenomphalia aff. umbellifera), of which the latter formed a well-supported sister group to L. umbellifera. We found no significant genetic differentiation among conspecific North American and Eurasian populations in Lichenomphalia. We detected high intercontinental gene flow within the northern polar region, suggesting rapid (re)colonisation of suitable habitats in response to climatic fluctuations and preventing pronounced genetic differentiation. On the other hand, our phylogenetic analyses suggest that dispersal between northern circumpolar and subantarctic areas likely happened very rarely and led to the establishment and subsequent divergence of lineages. Due to limited sampling in the Southern Hemisphere, it is currently uncertain whether the northern lineages occur in Gondwanan regions. On the other hand, our results strongly suggest that the southern lineages do not occur in the circumpolar north. Although rare transequatorial dispersal and subsequent isolation may explain the emergence of at least two subantarctic phylogenetic species lineages in Lichenomphalia, more samples from the Southern Hemisphere are needed to better understand the phylogeographic history of the genus.
Geml, J; Kauff, F; Brochmann, C; Lutzoni, F; Laursen, GA; Redhead, SA; Taylor, DL
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