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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section/ASPT

Morris, Ashley B. [1], Leonard, O. Rayne [2], Germain-Aubrey, Charlotte [3], Shaw, Joey [4].

Markers in time and space: The current state of the field of plant phylogeography.

The term ‘phylogeography’ was coined more than 25 years ago to define the comparison of intraspecific gene trees with a species' spatial distribution on the landscape. Since then, the field has exploded, with more than 6,500 articles published over the last six years. Interestingly, plant phylogeographic studies comprise only 11% of the total. To understand the current state of the field, we reviewed the literature between 2007-2013. We were specifically interested in what molecular markers were used and why, and whether time and space were explicitly considered in analyses. Using Web of Science, we used the topic search terms ‘phylogeography or phylogeographic’ and ‘chloroplast or cpDNA’ limited to the years 2007-1013. We further narrowed the selection by journal (American Journal of Botany, Journal of Biogeography, and Molecular Ecology), resulting in 174 papers for our review. Of those, 69% used cpDNA sequences, but rarely were these regions the same as those identified by the Tortoise and Hare series as being ‘top performers’. A relatively small number of papers implemented some form of divergence time estimation, with the vast majority descriptively linking observed patterns to the Pleistocene. In cases where fossil calibrations or other analyses of time were included, phylogeographic patterns that pre-date the Pleistocene were often identified. An even smaller percentage of papers included spatial analyses of the genetic data, or even species distribution models. Given the importance of both space and time in the definition of phylogeography, these omissions are a considerable stumbling block for our field. The results of this survey suggest that plant phylogeography could easily progress by integrating more rapidly evolving markers that are already identified as such, and including explicit analyses of time and space in relation to genetic data. Each of these factors would move the field from being largely qualitative to be more quantitative, and could result in significantly more insight into the patterns observed.

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1 - Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Biology and Center for Molecular Biosciences, Murfreesboro, TN, 37132, USA
2 - Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Biology, Murfreesboro, TN, 37132, USA
3 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 34
Location: Evergreen/Grove
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Time: 8:45 AM
Number: 34004
Abstract ID:591
Candidate for Awards:None

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