Australian Journal of Botany Australian Journal of Botany Society
Southern hemisphere botanical ecosystems
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Diversification history and hybridisation of Dacrydium (Podocarpaceae) in remote Oceania

Gunnar Keppel A B H , Peter Prentis C , Ed Biffin C , Paul Hodgskiss D , Susana Tuisese E , Marika V. Tuiwawa F and Andrew J. Lowe C G

A Ecology Center, School of Integrative Biology, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.

B Present address: Curtin Institute for Climate and Biodiversity, Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia.

C Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.

D USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Institute of Forest Genetics, Davis, CA 95618, USA.

E Tropik Wood Industries Ltd, Lautoka, Fiji.

F South Pacific Regional Herbarium, University of the South Pacific, PO Box 1168, Suva, Fiji.

G State Herbarium of South Australia, Science Resource Centre, Department for Environment and Natural Resources, Hackney Road, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.

H Corresponding author. Email: G.Keppel@curtin.edu.au

Australian Journal of Botany 59(3) 262-273 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/BT10181
Submitted: 16 July 2010  Accepted: 19 February 2011   Published: 9 May 2011

Abstract

We examined evolutionary relationships, hybridisation and genetic diversity in species of Dacrydium (Podocarpaceae) in Remote Oceania, where it is restricted to New Caledonia and Fiji. We used cpDNA sequence (trnL–trnF) data to construct a phylogeny and estimate taxon divergence by using a relaxed molecular clock approach. The phylogeny was verified using allozymes, which were also used to investigate genetic diversity of all species and the hybridisation dynamics of two endangered species, D. guillauminii and D. nidulum. Our results suggested that Dacrydium species in Remote Oceania form a monophyletic group that arose and diversified within the last 20 million years through long-distance dispersal and a range of speciation mechanisms. Whereas we detected no hybridisation between the Fijian species D. nausoriense and D. nidulum, we confirmed hybridisation between D. guillauminii and D. araucarioides in New Caledonia and determined introgression to be assymetric from the widespread D. araucarioides into the rare, restricted-range species D. guillauminii. In addition, D. guillauminii had lower genetic diversity than did the other species of Dacrydium studied, which had genetic diversity similar to that of other gymnosperms. Our results provided evidence for the recent and complex diversification of Dacrydium in Remote Oceania. In addition, low genetic diversity of and introgression from D. araucarioides, are of grave concern for the conservation of D. guillauminii.


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