4 years ago

Phylogeographic studies of schizothoracine fishes on the central Qinghai-Tibet Plateau reveal the highest known glacial microrefugia

Dekui He, Yintao Jia, Yangyang Liang, Yifeng Chen, Heying Sun
Pleistocene climatic oscillations have greatly influenced the evolutionary history and distribution pattern of most extant species. However, their effects on species on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) are not well understood. To investigate the effects of past climatic shifts, particularly the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), on plateau fish, we analysed the phylogeographic structure and demographic history of five closely related taxa of the subfamily Schizothoracinae, a representative endemic taxon of the QTP, from nine endorheic lakes on the central QTP and three peripheral exorheic rivers using the mitochondrial control region (D-loop) sequence and 12 microsatellite (SSR) markers. Phylogram from D-loop haplotypes revealed two well-supported lineages (North and South) separated by the Tanggula Mountains. The results from the D-loop and SSR revealed that endorheic populations possess high genetic diversity and a unique genetic structure. The most recent demographic expansion occurred post-LGM for most endorheic populations and in the last interglacial period for Siling Co and all exorheic populations. Phylogeographic structure, together with species distribution modelling, supports the scenario of multiple glacial refugia on the QTP during the LGM and suggests that Siling Co (4540 m asl) is a cryptic glacial microrefugia for plateau fish, which would be the highest glacial microrefugia known.

Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-11198-w

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-11198-w

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