Journal article
Phylogeography of halophytes from European coastal and inland habitats

Publication Details
Weising, K.; Freitag, H.
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Zoologischer Anzeiger
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The repeated advance and retreat of glaciers during the Pleistocene ice ages have played a major role in shaping the present patterns of genetic variation within and among plant and animal populations of the temperate zone. In Europe, the geographic ranges of many species were confined to a few, mostly southern refugia during periods of full glaciation. Distribution ranges then reexpanded, and uninhabited northern areas were recolonized during the interglacials. These con traction-expansion cycles were repeated at least four times. Paleontological and molecular phylogeographic studies during the last decade have greatly increased our knowledge of refugial areas and postglacial recolonization patterns of European trees, shrubs and Alpine plants since the last glacial maximum about 20,000 years ago. Much less is known yet about non-Alpine herbaceous plants. In the present review, we summarize recent phylogeographic work on halophytic (salt-adapted) plants from coastal and inland habitats in Europe. Major refugial areas for these plants have been identified along the Mediterranean coasts, but some species could also have survived in saline inland localities. In general, recolonization of N and NW Europe occurred in a stepwise fashion along the Atlantic coastline. For a number of species, molecular studies revealed concordant genetic discontinuities on the background of an essentially continuous geographic distribution. Such congruency could be explained by the preferential seed dispersal through sea currents. However, phylogeographic patterns of halophytes also proved to be influenced by other factors like sea-level fluctuations during the Pleistocene, secondary contact between divergent lineages, long-distance dispersal, clonal growth, and special habitat and temperature requirements. (C) 2007 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Last updated on 2019-01-11 at 16:05