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Impact of pleistocene glaciations and environmental gradients on Embothrium coccineum genetic structure
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  • Francisco Sepúlveda-Espinoza,
  • Ariana Bertin-Benavides,
  • Rodrigo Hasbun,
  • Oscar Toro-Nunez,
  • Antonio Varas-Myrik,
  • Diego Alarcón,
  • Marie Guillemin
Francisco Sepúlveda-Espinoza
Universidad de Concepción

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Ariana Bertin-Benavides
Universidad de Concepción
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Rodrigo Hasbun
Universidad de Concepcion
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Oscar Toro-Nunez
Universidad de Concepción Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Oceanográficas
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Antonio Varas-Myrik
Universidad de Concepcion
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Diego Alarcón
Universidad de Chile Instituto de Ecologia y Biodiversidad
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Marie Guillemin
Universidad Austral de Chile
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The South American temperate forests have been subjected to drastic past topographic and climatic changes during the Pliocene – Pleistocene linked to Andean orogeny and glacial cycles. These changes are common drivers of genetic structure and adaptation process. Embothrium coccineum, a member of the Proteaceae family and an emblematic tree of the South American temperate forest with a distribution spanning 20° of latitude, has been strongly affected by these topographic and climatic changes. Previous studies have shown that the species presents a marked genetic structure with distinct ecotypes described; yet, little is known about their adaptive genetic responses. The main goal of this study was to investigate the effects of historical and contemporary landscape features affecting the genetic diversity and connectivity of E. coccineum throughout its natural distribution. Using more than 2000 SNPs, two genetic groups (North and Center-South) that have diverged some 2.8 million years ago were observed. The level of genetic structure was higher between populations within the North genetic group than within the Center-South group. We propose that these contrasting patterns of genetic structure are related to differences in pollinator’s assemblage and evolutionary histories between genetic groups. Moreover, we observed the existence a strong patter of isolation by environment in E. coccineum, suggesting that selection could have leaded to adaptive divergence among localities. We propose that, within the Chilean temperate forest, the patterns of genetic variation in E. coccineum reflect both a Quaternary phylogenetic imprint and the impact of selection to the strong environmental gradient.
09 Mar 2022Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
10 Mar 2022Submission Checks Completed
10 Mar 2022Assigned to Editor
11 Mar 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
19 Apr 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Apr 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
02 Aug 20221st Revision Received
03 Aug 2022Submission Checks Completed
03 Aug 2022Assigned to Editor
03 Aug 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
22 Aug 2022Editorial Decision: Accept
Nov 2022Published in Ecology and Evolution volume 12 issue 11. 10.1002/ece3.9474