Determining the origin and age of the Westland beech (Nothofagus) gap, New Zealand, using fungus beetle genetics

Leschen, Richard A.B., Buckley, Thomas R., Harman, Helen M. and Shulmeister. James (2008) Determining the origin and age of the Westland beech (Nothofagus) gap, New Zealand, using fungus beetle genetics. Molecular Ecology, 17 5: 1256-1276. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2007.03630.x

Author Leschen, Richard A.B.
Buckley, Thomas R.
Harman, Helen M.
Shulmeister. James
Title Determining the origin and age of the Westland beech (Nothofagus) gap, New Zealand, using fungus beetle genetics
Journal name Molecular Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-1083
Publication date 2008-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2007.03630.x
Open Access Status
Volume 17
Issue 5
Start page 1256
End page 1276
Total pages 21
Place of publication Oxford , U.K
Publisher Blackwell Scientific
Language eng
Subject 050205 Environmental Management
05 Environmental Sciences
Abstract The formation and maintenance of the Nothofagus beech gap in the South Island, New Zealand, has been the focus of biogeographical debate since the 1920s. We examine the historical process of gap formation by investigating the population genetics of fungus beetles: Brachynopus scutellaris (Staphylinidae) inhabits logs and is absent from the beech gap, and Hisparonia hystrix (Nitidulidae) is contiguous through the gap and is found commonly on sooty mould growing on several plant species. Both species show distinctive northern and southern haplotype distributions while H. hystrix recolonized the gap as shown by definitive mixing. B. scutellaris shows two major haplotype clades with strong geographical concordance, and unlike H. hystrix, has clearly defined lineages that can be partitioned for molecular dating. Based on coalescence dating methods, disjunct lineages of B. scutellaris indicate that the gap was formed less than 200 000 years ago. Phylogenetic imprints from both species reveal similar patterns of population divergence corresponding to recent glacial cycles, favouring a glacial explanation for the origin of the gap. Post-gap colonization by H. hystrix may have been facilitated by the spread of Leptospermum scoparium host trees to the area, and they may be better at dispersing than B. scutellaris which may be constrained by fungal host and/or microhabitat. The gap-excluded species B. scutellaris is found in both beech and podocarp-broadleaf forests flanking the Westland gap and its absence in the gap may be related to incomplete recolonization following glacial retreat. We also discuss species status and an ancient polymorphism within B. scutellaris.
Keyword coalescence dating
coalescent analysis
nested clade analysis
New Zealand biogeography
nothofagus gap
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
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Created: Tue, 22 Dec 2009, 13:55:09 EST by Ms Lynette Adams on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management