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Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 305, Issue 7, pp 503–520 | Cite as

Phylogeography, classification and conservation of pink zieria (Zieria veronicea; Rutaceae): influence of changes in climate, geology and sea level in south-eastern Australia

  • Will C. Neal
  • Elizabeth A. James
  • Michael J. BaylyEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

We assessed genetic variation in the Australian shrub Zieria veronicea across its current distribution and used environmental niche modelling to predict its distribution at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The species range, from Kangaroo Island in South Australia to northern Tasmania, includes substantial overland and marine disjunctions of up to ~ 500 km. By inferring historical patterns of connectivity and genetic differentiation from DNA sequences and AFLP data, we aimed to provide new insight into the history of the species-rich sclerophyll vegetation in south-eastern Australia. Genetic differentiation of populations was not correlated with the size of geographic disjunctions. The deepest genetic divergence was between populations on Kangaroo Island and the adjacent mainland, separated by a strait only 13 km wide. Populations in western Victoria and Tasmania, separated by the 300 km of Bass Strait, showed the lowest genetic differentiation. This pattern is consistent with dispersal of Z. veronicea into Tasmania, across the Bassian Plain, possibly as recently as the LGM, in line with inferred distribution at that time. Genetic patterns, soil ages and niche models support Quaternary colonisation of the lower Murray Basin, potentially from eastern South Australia. The history of a large (500 km) disjunction between populations in western and eastern Victoria is unclear; historical connectivity of populations through suitable habitats is assumed, but the timing and location of connections are not clear. Genetic data support the current recognition of two subspecies and their treatment as distinct entities under conservation legislation.

Keywords

AFLP Australian biogeography Environmental niche modelling Murray Basin Tasmania Taxonomy 

Notes

Acknowledgements

For assistance with fieldwork or provision of specimens, we thank Ruby Wilson, Todd McLay, Duncan Fraser and Rose Barrett. Plant collecting permits were provided by the former Department of Sustainability and Environment (Victoria), the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tasmania) and the Department for Environment, Water and Natural Resources (South Australia). This work was partly supported by an Early Career Researcher grant to MJB from The University of Melbourne and a David H. Ashton Scholarship to WCN from The University of Melbourne Botany Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

606_2019_1589_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (55 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 54 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BioSciencesThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Royal Botanic Gardens VictoriaMelbourneAustralia

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