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Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 54(1)

Congruence between phylogeographic patterns in cpDNA variation in Eucalyptus marginata (Myrtaceae) and geomorphology of the Darling Plateau, south-west of Western Australia

M. A. Wheeler A, M. Byrne B C

A School of Biology and Biotechnology, Murdoch University, South Street Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia.
B Science Division, Department of Conservation and Land Management, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, WA 6983, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Present Address: PO Box 65, Rosebank, NSW 2480, Australia. Email: margaretb@calm.wa.gov.au
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Phylogeographic patterns in the cp genome of Eucalyptus marginata Don ex Sm., a species common in the mesic region of south-western Australia, were investigated by using RFLP analysis. The chloroplast diversity was structured into two geographically distinct lineages and nested clade analysis inferred historical fragmentation as the major influence on the phylogeographic pattern. The lineages were separated along the geomorphological boundary of the Darling Scarp, which separates the Coastal Plain from the Darling Plateau. The divergence between the lineages is consistent with uplifting of the Darling Plateau in the late Neogene. Further geographic structuring in haplotype distributions was evident in the forest lineage on the Darling Plateau, where one sublineage was present in the central forest region and another was restricted to the south-eastern region. The level of divergence between these sublineages was similar to that between divergent lineages that have been identified in comparative phylogeographic studies of cpDNA variation in three species widespread throughout south-western Australia. In these species, divergence was attributed to the influence of significant changes in climatic oscillations across the semi-arid region during the mid-Pleistocene. The divergence identified in this study indicates that the influence of climatic change was widespread throughout south-western Australia, including the mesic, higher-rainfall region.

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