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Title: Phylogeographic structuring of plastome diversity in Mediterranean oaks (Quercus Group Ilex, Fagaceae)
Authors: Vitelli, Martina
Vessella, Federico 
Cardoni, Simone
Pollegioni, Paola
Denk, Thomas
Grimm, Guido W.
Simeone, Marco Cosimo 
Issue Date: 2017
Oaks of Quercus Group Ilex are emblematic components of the Mediterranean landscapes and the full extent of their diversity in a geographic context is still poorly assessed. In order to detail differentiation patterns within Group Ilex and to illuminate causes and circumstances that underlie the distribution of its lineages, we examined plastome differentiation in the four species currently representing this oak group across the Mediterranean Basin (Quercus ilex, Quercus coccifera, Quercus aucheri, Quercus alnifolia). Plastid DNA variation was explored with three markers on 124 individuals and spatial analyses were performed with phylogenetic and landscape genetics approaches. A strong geographic sorting, entirely decoupled from species boundaries, was found. Spatial coincidences with phylogenetic splits highlights the presence of four geographic regions (the Middle East, the Aegean region, the central and the western Mediterranean) characterised by different degrees of isolation. Distinct sub-regional structures were identified. Inter- and intra-lineage divergence patterns appear to reflect the complex orogeny of the Mediterranean region and Pleistocene climatic oscillations, while a few widespread haplotypes might represent the remnants of the ancestral Group Ilex range. Regional differentiation in this group is recognised to be triggered by a number of factors, including disruption of the original range, incomplete lineage sorting, repeated phases of asymmetrical introgression and isolation. The key role played by some Mediterranean regions on the range establishment and dynamics of this oak group is discussed.
ISSN: 1614-2942
DOI: 10.1007/s11295-016-1086-8
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