Radiation and diversification within the Ligularia-Cremanthodium-Parasenecio complex (Asteraceae) triggered by uplift of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
Published on Jan 1, 2006in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution3.992
· DOI :10.1016/j.ympev.2005.09.010
The Ligularia-Cremanthodium-Parasenecio (L-C-P) complex of the Tussilagininae (Asteraceae: Senecioneae) contains more than 200 species that are endemic to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau in eastern Asia. These species are morphologically distinct; however, their relationships appear complex. A phylogenetic analysis of members of the complex and selected taxa, of the tribe Senecioneae was conducted using chloroplast (ndhF and trnL-F) and nuclear (ITS) sequences. Phylogenetic trees were constructed from individual and combined datasets of the three different sequences. All analyses suggested that Doronicum, a genus that has been included in the Tussilagininae, should be excluded from this subtribe and placed at the base of the tribe Senecioneae. In addition, the Tussilagininae should be broadly circumscribed to include the Tephroseridinae. Within the expanded Tussilagininae containing all 13 genera occurring in eastern Asia, Tussilago and NSPetasites diverged early as a separate lineage, while the remaining I I genera comprise an expanded L-C-P complex clade. We suggest that the L-C-P clade, which is largely unresolved, most likely originated as a consequence of an explosive radiation. The few monophyletic subclades identified in the L-C-P clade with robust support further suggest that some genera of Tussilagininae from eastern Asia require generic re-circumscriptions given the occurrence of subclades containing species of the same genus in different parts of the phylogentic tree due to homoplasy of important morphological characters used to delimit them. Molecular-clock analyses suggest that the explosive radiation of the L-C-P complex occurred mostly within the last 20 million years, which falls well within the period of recent major uplifts of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau between the early Miocene to the Pleistocene. It is proposed that significant increases in geological and ecological diversity that accompanied such uplifting, most likely promoted rapid and continuous allopatric speciation in small and isolated populations, and allowed fixation or acquisition of similar morphological characters within unrelated lineages. This phenomenon, possibly combined with interspecific diploid hybridization because of secondary sympatry during relatively stable stages between different uplifts, could be a major cause of high species diversity in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and adjacent areas of eastern Asia. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.