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Inter-island differentiation and contrasting patterns of diversity in the iconic Canary Island sub-alpine endemic Echium wildpretii (Boraginaceae)

Inter-island differentiation and contrasting patterns of diversity in the iconic Canary Island sub-alpine endemic Echium wildpretii (Boraginaceae)
Inter-island differentiation and contrasting patterns of diversity in the iconic Canary Island sub-alpine endemic Echium wildpretii (Boraginaceae)

The sub-alpine zones of oceanic islands are unique and dynamic ecosystems with high levels of endemism, making them particularly suitable model systems in which to investigate evolutionary and biogeographic processes. The sub-alpine flora of the Canary Islands is restricted to the islands of Tenerife and La Palma. Its origins are poorly understood. Echium wildpretii Hook.f. is an iconic species of the subalpine zones of these two islands, with distinct subspecies recognized on each island. This study examines patterns of genetic and morphological diversity in E. wildpretii to investigate the diversity and evolution of the lineage. Nine microsatellite markers were designed and used to investigate population genetic structure and patterns of gene flow within and between islands and populations. Morphological characters were assessed to test the distinctiveness of the two subspecies recognized. Strong genetic differentiation was observed between islands with higher genetic diversity on the younger island of La Palma than on Tenerife. Very low levels of inter-island gene flow were observed indicating that these taxa are reproductively isolated and evolving independently. Morphological analysis confirmed the distinctiveness of plants from the two islands. Given their genetic and morphological distinctiveness the taxa on Tenerife and La Palma merit recognition as distinct species. Higher genetic diversity in the La Palma species is consistent with an origin of the lineage on this island via upslope colonization, followed by dispersal to Tenerife where the plants show lower genetic diversity.

Boraginaceae, Canary Islands, Echium, island biogeography, microsatellites, population genetics, taxonomy
1477-2000
507-525
Graham, Rachael Elizabeth
49be1085-1b6f-4d7b-ba8c-5a6356d74b57
Reyes-Betancort, Alfredo
999ff0d8-7929-4f8c-9834-35a27378b6df
Chapman, Mark
8bac4a92-bfa7-4c3c-af29-9af852ef6383
Carine, Mark A.
eeaed5aa-bc4b-43ec-a667-b6c45e3217ed
Graham, Rachael Elizabeth
49be1085-1b6f-4d7b-ba8c-5a6356d74b57
Reyes-Betancort, Alfredo
999ff0d8-7929-4f8c-9834-35a27378b6df
Chapman, Mark
8bac4a92-bfa7-4c3c-af29-9af852ef6383
Carine, Mark A.
eeaed5aa-bc4b-43ec-a667-b6c45e3217ed

Graham, Rachael Elizabeth, Reyes-Betancort, Alfredo, Chapman, Mark and Carine, Mark A. (2021) Inter-island differentiation and contrasting patterns of diversity in the iconic Canary Island sub-alpine endemic Echium wildpretii (Boraginaceae). Systematics and Biodiversity, 19 (5), 507-525. (doi:10.1080/14772000.2021.1877847).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The sub-alpine zones of oceanic islands are unique and dynamic ecosystems with high levels of endemism, making them particularly suitable model systems in which to investigate evolutionary and biogeographic processes. The sub-alpine flora of the Canary Islands is restricted to the islands of Tenerife and La Palma. Its origins are poorly understood. Echium wildpretii Hook.f. is an iconic species of the subalpine zones of these two islands, with distinct subspecies recognized on each island. This study examines patterns of genetic and morphological diversity in E. wildpretii to investigate the diversity and evolution of the lineage. Nine microsatellite markers were designed and used to investigate population genetic structure and patterns of gene flow within and between islands and populations. Morphological characters were assessed to test the distinctiveness of the two subspecies recognized. Strong genetic differentiation was observed between islands with higher genetic diversity on the younger island of La Palma than on Tenerife. Very low levels of inter-island gene flow were observed indicating that these taxa are reproductively isolated and evolving independently. Morphological analysis confirmed the distinctiveness of plants from the two islands. Given their genetic and morphological distinctiveness the taxa on Tenerife and La Palma merit recognition as distinct species. Higher genetic diversity in the La Palma species is consistent with an origin of the lineage on this island via upslope colonization, followed by dispersal to Tenerife where the plants show lower genetic diversity.

Text
Echium microsats - revised manuscript - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 15 January 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 March 2021
Published date: 4 July 2021
Keywords: Boraginaceae, Canary Islands, Echium, island biogeography, microsatellites, population genetics, taxonomy

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 446576
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/446576
ISSN: 1477-2000
PURE UUID: be4a858a-6465-4e77-9ef4-bbe5d02317dd
ORCID for Rachael Elizabeth Graham: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4266-0264
ORCID for Mark Chapman: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7151-723X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Feb 2021 17:31
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 06:34

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Contributors

Author: Rachael Elizabeth Graham ORCID iD
Author: Alfredo Reyes-Betancort
Author: Mark Chapman ORCID iD
Author: Mark A. Carine

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