Biogeographic diversification of Actaea (Ranunculaceae): Insights into the historical assembly of deciduous broad-leaved forests in the Northern Hemisphere

作  者:Ling YY, Xiang KL, Peng HW, Erst AS, Lian L, Zhao L, Jabbour F, Wang W*
刊物名称:Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
卷:186  期:  页码:107870


The deciduous broad-leaved forests (DBLFs) cover large temperate and subtropical high-altitude regions in the Northern Hemisphere. They are home to rich biodiversity, especially to numerous endemic and relict species. However, we know little about how this vegetation in the Northern Hemisphere has developed through time. Here, we used Actaea (Ranunculaceae), an herbaceous genus almost exclusively growing in the understory of the Northern Hemisphere DBLFs, to shed light on the historical assembly of this biome in the Northern Hemisphere. We present a complete species-level phylogenetic analysis of Actaea based on five plastid and nuclear loci. Using the phylogenetic framework, we estimated divergence times, ancestral ranges, and diversification rates. Phylogenetic analyses strongly support Actaea as monophyletic. Sections Podocarpae and Oligocarpae compose a clade, sister to all other Actaea. The sister relationship between sections Chloranthae and Souliea is strongly supported. Section Dichanthera is not monophyletic unless section Cimicifuga is included. Actaea originated in East Asia, likely the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, in the late Paleocene (c. 57 Ma), and subsequently dispersed into North America in the middle Eocene (c. 43 Ma) via the Thulean bridge. Actaea reached Europe twice, Japan twice, and Taiwan once, and all these five colonization events occurred in the late Miocene-early Pliocene, a period when sea level dropped. Actaea began to diversify at c. 43 Ma. The section-level diversification took place at c. 27–37 Ma and the species-level diversification experienced accelerations twice, which occurred at c. 15 Ma and c. 5 Ma, respectively. Our findings suggest that the Northern Hemisphere DBLFs might have risen in the middle Eocene and further diversified in the late Eocene-Oligocene, middle Miocene and early Pliocene, in association with climatic deterioration during these four periods.