Report

Glacial Refugia: Hotspots But Not Melting Pots of Genetic Diversity

Science  06 Jun 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5625, pp. 1563-1565
DOI: 10.1126/science.1083264

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Abstract

Glacial refuge areas are expected to harbor a large fraction of the intraspecific biodiversity of the temperate biota. To test this hypothesis, we studied chloroplast DNA variation in 22 widespread European trees and shrubs sampled in the same forests. Most species had genetically divergent populations in Mediterranean regions, especially those with low seed dispersal abilities. However, the genetically most diverse populations were not located in the south but at intermediate latitudes, a likely consequence of the admixture of divergent lineages colonizing the continent from separate refugia.

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