May 17, 2021

In a paper just published in Preslia we explore the genetic structure of Cochlearia tatrae in the Tatra Mts and discuss its Late Quaternary history.

Phylogeographical analyses of narrowly distributed, regional endemic species are relatively rare. Yet, they offer the possibility of a realistic overview of genetic diversity in relation to local-scale history without the effect of unrecognized external gene flow. Cochlearia tatrae is a high-mountain species which occurs only within the Tatra Mts., the highest massif of the Carpathians, with the entire area of distribution of ca. 80×20 km. Our analysis revealed that while populations do not include strongly divergent genetic lineages, four genetic groups with a generally latitudinal (east–west) distribution across the Tatra Mts. could be detected. Based on this genetic structure we assume that the Last Glacial history of C. tatrae within its small distribution range was rather dynamic and characterized by vertical migrations and isolation in peripheral cold and moist microrefugia.

Citation

Cieślak E, Cieślak J, Ronikier M, 2021. Phylogeographical structure of a narrow endemic plant in an isolated high-mountain range: the case of Cochlearia tatrae in the Tatra Mts (Western Carpathians). Preslia 93: 125–148. DOI