What does it mean to be an educated person?
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“What does it mean to be an educated person?” As part of a college-wide discussion, students were invited fall semester to participate in an essay contest to address the question of what makes an “educated person.” A total of 67 entries were received. Below are the winning essays of six students. If you have questions or comments about the contest or the content of the essays, contact Vermont Tech's Academic Affairs Office at (802) 728- 1311.
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Silva Fennica 45(4) research articlesSILVA FENNICA
www.metla.f/silvafennica · ISSN 0037-5330
The Finnish Society of Forest Science · The Finnish Forest Research Institute
Phylogeographic Pattern of Populus
cathayana in the Southeast of Qinghai-
Tibetan Plateau of China Revealed by
cpSSR Markers
Youhong Peng and Ke Chen
Peng, Y. & Chen, K. 2011. Phylogeographic pattern of Populus cathayana in the southeast
of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau of China revealed by cpSSR markers. Silva Fennica 45(4):
583–594.
The vegetation in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is thought to be highly sensitive and more
vulnerable to global climate change than that of other areas. The uplift of the plateau as well
as the climatic oscillations during glacial periods had a profound impact on plant species
distribution and genetic diversity there. In the present study, seven pairs of cpSSR (chloro-
plast Simple Sequence Repeat) primers were utilized to detect genetic varieties of Populus
cathayana Rehd populations from their natural range in the southeastern areas of Qinghai-
Tibetan Plateau. A total of 28 alleles and 12 different haplotypes were detected. The proportion
of haplotype variation among populations (G = 0.794, N = 0.900) indicated high level ST ST
of genetic differentiation among and a signifcant phylogeographic structure
(N > G , P < 0.05). This appears to support the hypothesis that these populations were ST ST
derived from multiple refugia areas during the Quaternary climatic oscillations. Based on the
haplotype network and mismatch distribution analyses, we found no evidence of postglacial
range recolonization and expansion by P. cathayana in this region. This might be mainly
due to the complex topography of the southeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The
lofty mountain ranges and deep valleys in this region might have prevented long-distance
migrations of this species during the climatic amelioration.
Keywords genetic differentiation, refugia, phylogeography
Addresses Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chengdu, China
E-mail pengyh@cib.ac.cn
Received 23 November 2009 Revised 28 July 2011 Accepted 7 September 2011
Available at http://www.metla.f/silvafennica/full/sf45/sf454583.pdf
583Silva Fennica 45(4), 2011 research articles
to be regarded as one of the largest “biodiversity 1 Introduction
hotspots” in the world (Myers et al. 2000).
Glaciations had important effects on the pat-
The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is the largest and terns of spatial distribution and genetic struc-
highest plateau of the world, covering approxi- ture of species (Avise 1998, Hewitt 2000, 2004).
6 2mately 2.5×10 km (Zheng 1996). Its uplift has Analyzing glacial refugia and postglacial rec-
profoundly impacted Chinese geomorphic pat- olonization patterns can help to reveal historic
terns and climate, bringing about a series of eco- events and improve understanding the phylogeo-
environmental consequences (Zhang et al. 2000). graphic pattern of species (Walter and Epperson
For example, its uplift changed the atmospheric 2001, Richardson et al. 2002, Cuenca et al. 2003,
circulation of wind systems, adjusted the trans- Gómez et al. 2005). Although in the southeast of
port of water vapor and heat and developed the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, specifc geological fac-
East Asian and South Asian monsoon (An et al. tors (especially the Quaternary glaciations) have
1991). The unique ecological characteristics of signifcantly shaped the present-day distribution
this plateau have lead to vegetative communities and diversity of many species. Using chloroplast
which are thought to be highly sensitive and more DNA sequence variation, Zhang et al. (2005)
vulnerable to global climate change than that of found that the northeast edge of the Qinghai-
other areas (Thompson et al. 1994, Zhang et al. Tibetan Plateau was likely a large refugium for the
1996, Ni 2000). endemic Juniperus przewalskii (Cupressaceae)
The large-scale uplift of the Qinghai-Tibetan during the last glacial period and that J. przew-
Plateau was an important geological event in the alskii of the plateau platform is probably derived
Quaternary period. The uplift formed a natural from a recent colonization. Studies on Ginkgo
division between the temperate and subtropical biloba using chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) also
zones of mainland China. Consequently, South- found that refugia of this species were located
west China was less affected by cold air from in the southwest China, but detected no recent
Siberia during the glaciations. According to pollen long-distance dispersal and population expan-
fossil records and biological evidence, the uplift sion (Shen et al. 2005). Few other studies about
and climatic oscillations of Quaternary period glacial refugia and postglacial recolonization have
profoundly impacted biome shifts (Zhang et al. been carried out with a focus on the species in
2000, Sun 2002). This event was characterized this region.
by migration of the northerly biome from north The species of the genus Populus L. (Sali-
to south into the glacial region and the south- caceae), collectively known as poplars, are widely
ern biome northward into the interglacial region. distributed in the forests of the Qinghai-Tibetan
In the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, especially in its Plateau. The distribution and differentiation of this
southern and eastern areas, many huge moun- genus appear to have been profoundly infuenced
tains run south to north, with basins, rivers and by the glacial periods (Yu et al. 2003). In the
other geomorphic units on the surface. During the present study, we employed molecular markers
Quaternary glaciations, when the northerly biome to analyze the genetic relationships and genetic
was gradually receding from north to south, the structure of Populus cathayana Rehd populations
southeast region of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau from the southeast of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.
provided refugia for this biome. Fossil records of Populus cathayana is a native species of China
many species (i.e., Picea, Abies, Populus, Gink- and it belongs to Sect. Tacamahaca Spach. It is
gos and Metasequoia) also revealed that this found along a large geographic range, but mainly
region was an important refugium for species occurs in the northern, southwestern and central
that survived the Quaternary glaciations (Wang parts of China (Wu and Raven 1994). In the south-
and Liu 1994). Because of its role as an important ern and eastern areas of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau,
refugium during the glacial periods, the south- many P. cathayana occur in the mountains and
eastern region of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau of canyon belts between the plateau and plain at
China is extremely rich in species (Tang and Shen altitudes varying between 1500–3900 m above
1996). This species richness had led the plateau sea level (Zhao and Gong 1991). A large amount
584Peng and Chen Phylogeographic Pattern of Populus cathayana in ... China Revealed by cpSSR Markers
Table 1. The ecological and geographical parameters of the P. cathayana populations sampled.
Population Landform feature Water system Longitude Latitude Altitude Annual Annual Warmest Sample
(E) (N) (m) rainfall mean month size
(mm) temp (ºC) (ºC)
SHY Riparian and basin Dadu river 102º40’ 29º25’ 1500 750 17.7 22.0 29
JZ Alpine and canyon Bailong river 103º57’ 32º13’ 1600 553 12.7 16.8 21
PW Canyon and basin Peijing river 104º25’ 32º01’ 1620 566 14.7 18.1 18
QHY Plateau and mountain Huangshui river 100º23’ 37º54’ 3100 412 3.3 11.5 28
LD ver 102º28’ 36º31’ 3160 335 6.9 13.4 28
TS Canyon and basin Wei river 105º40’ 34º37’ 1650 531 11.5 22.6 17
of genetic diversity has been revealed by previ- 2 Materials and Methods
ous studies on this species (Peng et al. 2005, Lu
et al. 2006). This diversity could be exploited for 2.1 Plant Materials
conservation, breeding programs and afforesta-
tion schemes. A total of 144 individuals from six natural popu-
Molecular markers, in particular organelle lations of P. cathayana were collected from the
genome (cpDNA and mtDNA) markers have southern and eastern areas of Qinghai-Tibetan
proven powerful in identifying refugia and Plateau in China. Three (SHY, JZ, PW) of the
tracking colonization routes, because organelle six sampled populations were from the Sichuan
genomes are inherited without recombination province. Two of the populations (QHY, LD)
(Newton et al. 1999, Caron et al. 2000, Petit et were from the Qinghai province and one (TS)
al. 2003). In general, chloroplast genomes show was from the Gansu province. These populations
low levels of nucleotide variation below the spe- were chose to represent the various climates and
cies level (Schaal et al. 1998). Chloroplast Simple topographies over which P. cathayana of the
Sequence Repeats (cpSSR) is most suitable for use southeastern areas of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
in intraspecifc studies because this technique ena- is naturally distributed (Table 1) (Fig. 1). For
bles detection more variation than possible using each of the natural populations, individual cut-
other molecular markers (e.g., RFLPs) (Powell et tings separated by a distance of more than 50 m
al. 1995, Provan et al. 1996, 1998, Mengoni et al. were collected from winter 2003 to spring 2004
2000). In this study, we used seven paired cpSSR and planted in the nursery garden located at the
universal primers described for dicotyledonous Maoxian Field Ecological Station.
angiosperms (Weising and Gardner 1999, Lian
et al. 2003) to detect genetic variation within
six populations of P. cathayana collected from 2.2 DNA Extraction
their natural range in the southeastern areas of
Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The objectives of the DNA was extracted from 0.5g of fresh, young
present study were: 1) to determine the genetic leaf material from each individual following a
relationships and differentiation and analyze the protocol modifed from Castiglione et al. (1993).
phylogeographic pattern of P. cathayana popula- DNA concentrations were determined by com-
tions; 2) increase understanding of the cpDNA parison with a serial dilution of standard lambda
haplotypes’ diversity of P. cathayana in order to DNA and the quality of DNA was checked with
infer the potential refugia. a DNA-Protein instrument (Bio-Rad).
2.3 cpSSR Analysis
Ten universal primer pairs (Weising and Gardner
1999) and 6 pairs originally developed
585Silva Fennica 45(4), 2011 research articles
Fig. 1. The locations of the
natural populations
sampled and the dis-
tribution of cpDNA
haplotypes. Population
abbreviations are given
in Table 1.
for Salix reinii (Lian et al. 2003) were tested for 10×reaction buffer (TaKaRa, Dalian), 1.8 mM
2+amplifcation of Populus total DNA. Out of the 16 Mg (TaKaRa), 150 mM dNTPs (Promega), 0.2
primer pairs tested, seven primer pairs (CCMP02, mM of both primers specifed for each micros-
CCMP05, CCMP07, CSU01, CSU03, CSU05 and atellite locus, 1.0 U Taq polymerase (TaKaRa)
CSU07) (Table 2) produced a single PCR product and 20–50 ng of DNA. PCR amplifcations were
with a size in the expected range and were used to performed using the following protocol: 5 min
analyze all of the Populus populations. at 94℃; followed by 35 cycles of denaturation
The amplifcation reactions were performed (45 s at 94℃); annealing (30 s at 55 or 58℃; see
in a volume of 20 µl containing 2.0 µl of the Table 2); extension (1 min at 72℃), followed
586Peng and Chen Phylogeographic Pattern of Populus cathayana in ... China Revealed by cpSSR Markers
Table 2. The cpSSR primer pair sequences used in this study.
Locus Region Sequence(5”–3 ) Repeat T (℃) Number Size rangea
of alleles of alleles(bp)
CCMP2 5’– trnS 5’-GATCCCGGACGTAATCCTG-3’ A 58 5 194–22511
5’-ATCGTACCGAGGGTTCGAAT-3’
CCMP5 3’–rps2 5’-TGTTCCAATATCTTCTTGTCATTT-3’ (C) (T) 55 4 108–113 7 10
5’-AGGTTCCATCGGAACAATTAT-3’ (T) C(A) 5 11
CCMP7 atpB–rbc 5’-CAACATATACCACTGTCAAG-3’ A 58 1 13413
L 5’-ACATCATTATTGTATACTCTTTC-3
CSU01 trnC–trn 5’-TTCCCGATTCTACTAGCACTC-3’ A TCT 55 4 142–1514 10
D 5’-ATTATTATCGCTGGTGCAGAG-3’
CSU03 trnC–trn 5’-AAAGTATTCCTGACCCAATCG-3’ A CA CA 55 8 279–3193 3 8
D 5’-ACTAGGACTTATCTTTATCGC-3’
CSU05 trnV2–rb 5’-TGTTCGATAGCAAGTTGATTG-3’ T 55 1 14712
cL 5’-GAGTTAGTTGAACTTATCACTC-3’
CSU07 trnD–trn 5’-GACTTTCTACTTACAAATCCTG-3’ A 58 5 184–19214
T 5’-ATAATTCACTGATCCACCATG-3’
T : annealing temperaturea
by a fnal step for 10 min at 72℃. The ampli- reveal the genetic differentiation among popula-
fed PCR products were separated on 8% (w/v) tions, total diversity (H ), mean genetic T
non-denaturing polyacrylamide gels containing diversity within populations (H ) and the level of S
1×TBE buffer. The electrophoresed gels were sil- population subdivision of diversity (G , G = ST ST
ver-stained to visualize the produced bands using (H – H ) / H ) were estimated using unordered T S T
the procedure of Panaud et al. (1996). In all cases, alleles (based on allelic frequencies). The level of
PCR reactions were performed at least twice in population subdivision for ordered alleles (based
order to ensure the reproducibility. According to on DNA sequences) (N , N = (V – V ) / V ), ST ST T S T
the method of Bonin et al. (2004), the genotyping V and V (the analogues of H and H ) were T S T S
error rate was found to be relatively low (0.3%) also estimated based on DNA sequences. Phy-
in this experiment. logeographic pattern was viewed through G /ST
N comparison. Here, G makes use only of ST ST
haplotype frequencies while N also takes into ST
2.4 Data Analysis account differences between haplotypes. A higher
N than the estimated G indicates the presence ST ST
In the present study, chloroplast haplotype was of a phylogeographical structure.
defned as the combination of the alleles obtained A haplotype network was obtained by using the
at each locus. Based on the resulting data, Nei’s program TCS version 1.18 (Clement et al. 2000).
haplotype diversity (H) was estimated as: The maximum parsimony tree (the phylogenetic
tree drawn with the maximum parsimony method)
2H = [n/(n – 1)] (1 – ∑pi ) was constructed with the cpSSR data set using
PHYLIP Version 3.5c (Felsenstein 1993). This
where n is the number of individuals analyzed program was used to obtain a 95% confdence
thin the population and pi the frequency of the i limit for parsimony (Templeton et al. 1995). In
haplotype in the population (Nei 1987). order to further estimate population expansion,
The CPSSR program (http://www.pierroton. mismatch analysis and Tajima’s D (Tajima 1989)
inra.fr/genetics/labo/Software) as described in neutrality tests were also performed with the
Pons and Petit (1995, 1996) was employed to program Arlequin Version 3.11 (Excoffer et al.
analyze population cpDNA diversity. In order to 2005).
587Silva Fennica 45(4), 2011 research articles
Table 3. Distribution of the 12 haplotypes of the P.cathayana populations.
Haplotype SHY JZ PW QHY LD TS Haplotype frequency
Hap1 5 0 0 0 0 0 0.1724
Hap2 24 0 0 0 0 0 0.8276
Hap3 0 19 0 0 0 0 0.8696
Hap4 0 3 0 0 0 0 0.1304
Hap5 0 0 16 0 0 0 0.8889
Hap6 0 0 2 0 0 0 0.1111
Hap7 0 0 0 28 0 0 1.0000
Hap8 0 0 0 0 29 0
Hap9 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.1768
Hap10 0 0 0 0 0 13 0.7059
Hap11 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.0588
Hap12 0 0 0 0 0 1
Haplotype diversity (h) 0.2956 0.2372 0.2092 0 0 0.4926
Hap (1...12) were the abbreviations of the 12 type haplotypes.
3.2 Distribution and Relationships of 3 Results
the Haplotypes
3.1 The Analysis of Haplotype The level of haplotype diversity of P. cathayana
Polymorphisms was apparently related to geographical regions
with most haplotypes detected in populations
In the present study, cpSSR revealed a wide range found in the center and south zone of the region
of diversity within the P. cathayana genome. (Fig. 1). It was apparent that QHY and LD from
The number of amplifed alleles per cpSSR loci the northern part of the plateau each had only one
ranged from 1 to 8. Overall, a total of 28 alleles fxed haplotype. On the other hand, the popula-
were detected and combined to produce 12 dif- tions from the center and southern part of the
ferent haplotypes (Hap1 to Hap12) among the plateau (TS, PW, JZ and SHY) contained at least
six P. cathayana populations (Table 3). Each of two haplotypes each and all of their haplotypes
the 6 populations had their own unique haplotype were unique to the particular population.
and none of them shared same haplotype with Phylogenetic relationships among the 12
each other. The distribution of haplotypes across cpDNA haplotypes were investigated using a
populations was uneven. The TS population had maximum parsimonious tree (Fig. 2). Haplotypes
the largest number of haplotypes (4). The SHY,
JZ and PW populations had two haplotypes each
and the QHY and LD populations had only one
haplotype each.
The level of haplotype diversity (H) varied
amongst the six populations. Over all popula-
tions, the value of the haplotype diversity (H)
was 0.8591 (SE = 0.1364). The highest haplotype
diversity was in the TS population (0.4926) (SE
= 0.0202). The diversity of the SHY, JZ and PW
populations was 0.2956 (SE = 0.0091), 0.2372
(SE = 0.0128) and 0.2092 (SE = 0.0185), respec-
Fig. 2. A Single maximum parsimonius tree showing the tively. Haplotype variation was lowest (0) for the
QHY and LD populations. phylogenetic relationships among the 12 cpDNA
haplotypes resolved in P. cathayana. Bootstrap
values are denoted above branches.
588Peng and Chen Phylogeographic Pattern of Populus cathayana in ... China Revealed by cpSSR Markers
were divided into three major clades. The frst In order to test the hypothesis of population
clades consisted of Hap3, Hap4, Hap9, Hap10, expansion, we computed the distribution of pair-
Hap11 and Hap12 (detected in JZ and TS popu- wise differences from the segregating sites of
lations). The second clades consisted of Hap5, cpDNA haplotypes of P. cathayana. The mis-
Hap6, Hap7 and Hap8 (detected in PW, QHY and match analysis showed a multimodal distribution
LD populations). However, relationships within for all samples, suggesting there is no expanding
the two clades were not resolved because of low population of this species. There was also no
bootstrap values among haplotypes. Hap1 and clear evidence of population expansion using the
Hap2 (detected in SHY population) were distinct Tajima’D neutrality test. With a D of 1.601, the
from others and were clustered alone with high positive values were not signifcantly different
bootstrap support (99%). from zero, P > 0.05.
The relationship among cpSSR haplotypes was
investigated with a haplotype network (Fig. 3). In
the network, haplotypes coming from the same 3.3 Differentiation and Relationships among
population were grouped together, whereas hap- Populations
lotypes coming from different populations were
separated by many genetic divergences, probably Diversity analysis showed the total diversity
caused by a number of evolutionary events. Sur- among populations to be high (H = 1.000) and T
prisingly, the network contained a large number the genetic variation to be distributed more among
of ambiguous connections and did not show the (G = 0.794, SE = 0.0768) than within popula-ST
clear ‘star-like’ pattern characteristic of postgla- tions (H = 0.206, SE = 0.0766) (Table 4). The S
cial expansion. proportion of genetic variation among popula-
Table 4. Results of the diversity analysis for P. cathayana populations. Standard
errors of the estimates are in parentheses.
Total genetic diversity (H ) 1.000 (0.0241)T
Genetic diversity within populations (H ) 0.206 (0.0766)S
The level of population subdivision of diversity (G ) 0.794 (0.0768)ST
Total genetic diversity (V ) 1.020 (0.0538)T
Genetic divV ) 0.102 (0.0515)S
The level of population subdivision of diversity (V ) 0.900 (0.0537)ST
Fig. 3. The haplotype network of the 12 cpSSR haplotypes detected in P. cathayana. Haplotypes are
represented in circles and lines between haplotypes represent a one-step mutational change.
589Silva Fennica 45(4), 2011 research articles
tions accounted for 79.4% of all genetic diversity, Therefore, the high inter-population differentia-
indicating a relatively high degree of genetic tion of P. cathayana populations was likely to be
differentiation among populations. The differ- due to infrequent gene migration caused by long
ence between N and G was signifcant (N distance isolation. In the present study, strong ST ST ST
= 0.900, SE = 0.0537; G < N , P < 0.01), phylogeographic structure was apparent, because ST ST
showing that there was signifcant correlation all of the haplotypes were unique to a particular
between the phylogeny of haplotypes and their refugium. This is further supported through the
geographic locations. signifcant difference between G and N (G ST ST ST
< N , P < 0.01), which showed strong correlation ST
between the phylogeny of haplotypes and their
geographic locations.
4 Discussion The southeastern part of Qinghai-Tibetan Pla-
teau served as an important refugium during the
The southeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibetan Pla- Quaternary glaciations, abundant species were
teau is regarded as the natural distribution and preserved in this region (Wang and Liu 1994).
variation center of the genus Populus in China According to fossil records and geological events,
(Fang and Zhao 1981, Wang et al. 1984, Zhao the poplar originated in the northeast part of East-
and Gong 1991, Yu et al. 2003). Seventeen spe- Asia (Fang 1987). When temperature decreased
cies, ffteen varieties and ten natural hybrids of during the Quaternary, poplar was forced to
native poplar are recognized and most species are migrate southward to the Himalayan-Hengduan
endemic to this area or neighboring areas (Zhao Mountains (located in the southeastern part of
and Gong 1991, Yu et al. 2003). The abundant Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau), where abundant poplar
genetic resource diversity of poplar is mainly genetic diversity could survive the severity of the
attributed to the specifc geological factors and climate and physical conditions during glacia-
ecological conditions in this area and the biologi- tions (Ding 1995, Sun 2002). The glacial climatic
cal properties of the genus (Ding 1995). oscillations as well as complex topography further
In the present study, based on an investiga- promoted intraspecifc divergences and conse-
tion of chloroplast markers (cpSSR), we found quently formed distribution and variation centers
that natural populations of P. cathayana possess for poplar (Yu et al. 2003).
moderate level haplotype diversity (H = 0.8591, In the present study, the ample genetic variation
SE = 0.1364, 12 haplotypes in 144 individuals) and high level inter-population differentiation of
when compared to other poplar species using P. cathayana in this region supports the hypoth-
the same markers (Salvini et al. 2001, Cottrell esis that these populations were derived from
et al. 2005). However, it should be noted that P. refugia areas during the Quaternary climatic oscil-
cathayana showed a signifcantly high level of lations. Most importantly, the observed genetic
inter-population differentiation as refected by the isolation and lack of sharing of haplotypes among
high values of G and N obtained in the present populations suggests that multiple refugia must ST ST
study (G = 0.794, N = 0.900). Furthermore, no have existed and each of these fragmented refugia ST ST
haplotype was found to be particularly common to must have experienced considerable genetic dif-
all populations, which suggests genetic isolation ferentiation. Our hypothesis was also supported
among populations. The high inter-population by the isolated distribution of clades in the hap-
differentiation among poplar populations of the lotype network analysis which showed the haplo-
Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau might be attributed to the types separated into at least three clades based on
fact that the natural populations occur in disjunc- numerous genetic differences (perhaps caused by
tive mountain areas including plateaus and val- mutations, introgression or genetic drift).
leys with high degrees of geographical isolation In addition to showing all haplotypes to be
(at least 100km between populations). Physical unique, the cpDNA variation pattern suggested
obstacles and variable climate conditions through- that most of P. cathayana populations in the
out the region could block gene fow even for a southeastern part of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
species with generally good seed dispersal ability. must have experienced in situ shrink-expansion
590Peng and Chen Phylogeographic Pattern of Populus cathayana in ... China Revealed by cpSSR Markers
cycles during the Quaternary climatic oscilla- complex topography in the southeastern part of
tions. When temperature decreased during glacial the plateau further promoted intraspecifc and
periods, poplar moved into the southeastern part population divergences. According to previous
of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau in the Quaternary reports, most tree species that survived in refugia
period (Ding 1995). However, because of com- had experienced postglacial range recoloniza-
plex topography, such as plateaus and deep val- tion and expansion during climatic amelioration
leys, it was diffcult for the surviving populations (Hampe et al. 2003, Cuenca et al. 2003, Zhang
to interbreed in a common refugium. Similarly, et al. 2005, Bucci et al. 2007). These species
the topography also blocked interglacial range exhibited marked population differentiation in
expansion of P. cathayana populations. The com- their refuge area and almost complete genetic
plex topography might have accelerated inter- uniformity in regions it had recolonized. Previous
population differentiation and retained multiple studies showed that P. cathayana coming from
refugia of P. cathayana during glacial stages. central and northern parts of China showed low
In the present study, based on the haplotype genetic diversity and little population differen-
network analysis and mismatched distribution tiation (Li et al. 1997), which might suggest the
analyses of the cpDNA haplotypes, we found no phylogeographic patterns and historical dynamics
evidence of postglacial range recolonization or of these populations differed. However, consider-
expansion in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. In the ing the lack of information on cpDNA variation of
case of this species, the populations in each gla- this species from the other part of China resulted,
cial refugium spread only within their refugium it is diffcult to draw decisive conclusions about
during the climatic amelioration. The populations the recolonization of the postglacial range and
could not migrate among refugia areas, because population expansion of P. cathayana in other
of barriers like lofty mountain ranges and deep regions (i.e., the central and northern parts of
valleys. The present study’s fndings agreed with China). More studies are required to improve the
previous studies in that modern P. cathayana understanding of the phylogeographical pattern
populations originated from Quaternary period of P. cathayana.
refugia areas and that inter-population differ-
entiation was high. For example, Zhang et al.
(2005) studied phylogeography of the Qinghai-
Tibetan Plateau endemic Juniperus przewalskii Acknowledgements
using chloroplast DNA sequence variation. They
found the plateau edge was likely a large refu- This research was supported by the Outstanding
gium during the last glacial period and that the Young Scientist Program of the National Natural
marked population differentiation exhibited by Science Foundation of China (No. 30525036),
the species in its refugium was likely, due to high the China National Key Program of the Interna-
mountain barriers. Recent studies conducted by tional Cooperation for Science and Technology
organelle DNA also came to similar conclusions, (No. 2005DFA30620) and the Main Direction
that plant populations from the southeastern part Program of Knowledge Innovation of Chinese
of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau had higher genetic Academy of Sciences (KSCX2-EW-J-22). We
diversity and higher population differentiation would also like to thank Christine Verhille at the
than those from other areas and that there were University of British Columbia for her assistance
multiple refugia for plant species during the Qua- with English language and grammatical editing
ternary period glaciations (Meng et al. 2007, Li of the manuscript.
et al. 2010, Wang et al. 2010).
In summary, the high levels of genetic diver-
sity and inter-population differentiation of P.
cathayana in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is
likely due to that the southeastern part of the
plateau’s role as an important refugium during
glaciations. The glacial climatic oscillations and
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